50% of all corporate training programs fail as a result of:

  • Lack of managerial clarity
  • Irrelevant training content
  • Uninterested learners
  • Outdated training practices
  • Inability to communicate the training need
  • Disengaged employees who feel no need to learn

Corporate training programs are planned to make a difference. They solely exist to provide employees with the support and tools needed to grow and excel in a corporate space. However, more often than not, quite a few corporate training programs fail.

According to the British Chamber of Commerce, 60–90% of everything learnt during a corporate training session is either forgotten, never understood, or never applied on the job. The same study also states that almost 50% of all corporate training events globally—suffer similar fates. As top-level management, putting efforts and resources into an activity that fails is disappointing. Moreover, this warrants a very straightforward question—why do corporate training programs fail?

At Abara, we are engaged in the process of developing Learning Management Systems (LMS) and innovating eLearning solutions for quite a while, 12 years to be precise. Hence, we think we have a few valid reasons as to why this happens. Our clients are spread globally, and we often spend time discussing what went wrong with their training program. Sometimes, the reason for failure is quite evident. Other times, the answer is not as straightforward as one would wish. However, the end results have always been the same—happy clients whose training and development activities are well received and show increased engagement rates.

So how do we help turn failed corporate training programs into real success stories?

Let us find out:

Traditional Training Has Very Few Takers

We always knew that heavily relying on traditional training approaches was a major contributor to failed programs. A study stated: 80% of the millennials believe in bringing your own device (BYOD) to work. Furthermore, Statista stated that 72.7 million people use social media in the United States alone. With such a large demographic dependent on social media for news and updates, it is safe to say that most modern workers do not appreciate the traditional teacher and classroom training format.

Social media has irreversibly modified the preferred format of consuming content. Modern content is informational and entertaining. Short videos, blogs, news snippets, and video tutorials are how people learn and grow today. They prefer consuming these bits of content between free periods of time. However, when it comes to traditional training, spending half a day in a training room is not something that people appreciate. It is actually counteractive to the training process. Attention spans have gone down, and more than half the training is either forgotten or not understood.

There is a solution to this of course, and that is training which is modern and engaging. eLearning content presented over an LMS is how you make training engaging. Learners appreciate bite-sized interactive formats. Furthermore, an LMS solves the accessibility issue which is also great! Content that is accessible is a powerful way to increase learner engagement, and learners will eventually demand more training.

Managers are Unable to Convey the Importance of Training

Through most of our conversations, we realized that training activities planned in favour of employees were a constant affair. However, the problem of low engagement rates prevailed. We noticeably saw a drop in learner completion rates and inbound requests. What was really causing this? The answer although straightforward, took some time to figure out. Managers and mid-level management were the real barriers.

What happens when your team manager or lead is not motivated themselves, can they motivate their team members then?

You can implement all the technologies in the world, but if your managers don’t promote it, your employees won’t adopt it.

A manager is not just a decision maker or team leader anymore. Modern managers are dynamic professionals in charge of maintaining a conducive work environment while the focus on productivity and profits aren’t forgotten. Through good leadership practices like encouraging team members to take their corporate training programs seriously, this focus can be improved. Encouraging team members to participate in training activities is a big part of the modern manager’s job role. Managers who aren’t getting this right are not being ideal managers. A report by Gallup stated: 80% of the newly promoted managers are either not competent or not ready to take on the role, and the reasons are:

  • They are not proactive in training team members or suggesting training as a solution.
  • They are not engaged with team members, just as team members are not engaged with the organization.
  • They are good at what they do, but being a leader is more than just being a great worker.
  • Lack of empathy—inefficient managers seldom understand their employee’s needs.

Providing Irrelevant Training 

What types of offerings always have takers? The answer is simple—offerings that are relevant, provide value, and are irreplaceable. The same can be asked about training programs. Is your training valuable, irreplaceable, and relevant? If it is, the level of engagement will definitely increase.

No employee wants to attend irrelevant or unimportant training programs. Furthermore, accessibility and method of delivery also matter as discussed above.

When employees are expected to learn from a book or look for unstructured and dispersed information online, interests and engagement levels drop instantly. Storing the same content in an accessible place: structured and in bite-sized formats, will boost engagement rates.

In most cases, valuable training is always relevant to the job and problems faced by employees. E.g.: training on advanced Excel functions and training on effective management techniques, both have their own set of audience. There is no point in asking them to sit for each other’s training. True value is created this way.

Employees are Disengaged

Another survey by Gallup stated: 70% of the American workforce is currently disengaged. This figure represents 3/4th of the American Workforce.

Now, you may ask—what exactly is employee disengagement? According to many, disengaged employees are unhappy employees who constantly undermine the work done or presented by engaged co-workers. The unhappiness becomes apparent in the way daily tasks are performed. Disengagement stems from a lack of good leadership, the lack of opportunities to grow, or a lack of employee enablement policies.

When training is provided as a solution to re-engage disengaged employees, in most cases it works exceptionally well. However, when disengaged employees are trained, and the training being provided is not a solution to disengagement, but rather just another training activity, the training fails once again. Hence, provide training as a solution to disengagement before proceeding to train your employees on core subjects.

Showing learners why training is important is a good way to re-engage them. Battering them with general training while they remain disengaged will not yield results. Show them the bigger picture, it will pay off.

Administrators Providing no Feedback

Finally, what use is an activity when there is no outcome that is visible, apparent, or measured? In most cases, visible results and feedbacks help a person perform better. Simply put, they don’t know something is wrong till it’s expressed to them. The same is the process for training. If employees are presented with feedbacks post the training activity, in most cases, the training stays with them.

Assessments are great feedback mechanisms.  Employees receive detailed insights on their performance, areas of improvement, and best practices. Moreover, it takes a look at their current capabilities in order to keep the employee engaged. Feedbacks are valuable if delivered carefully.

Quality feedback can sometimes re-engage employees instantly. It is a big reason why corporate training programs take place in the first place, isn’t it?

At Abara LMS, we work to provide your learners with the chance to learn, grow, and empower themselves. Our LMS is considered as one of the best LMS platforms for employees to engage in self-training activities, and these recognitions have come in the form of third-party listings and mentions.

Also, we have always known how good our product is. If you are keen to test it out for yourself click here and activate your free 30-day-trial, or click here to fill a form and one of our representatives will get in touch with your shortly.

Why do some corporate training programs fail?