I have been in the corporate world for 15 years and almost 10 years in the training industry. Here's my experience on why training fails and how you can prevent it in your organization from a learner and training solutions provider's perspective:
1, Lack of Clarity - This is basic and most important of all. First, clarity on the learner's responsibilities and opportunities for improvement. Second, why are they attending the training.
Solutions: Ensure that the employees are clear with their job responsibilities. The expectations must be established while there should be a room for improvement and growth. All of these has to be well communicated within the group or by the leaders including when and why they are being sent for training.
2. Not enough time/Limited budget and training resources - This is common in the corporate world, unfortunately, training budget is always cut first when company needs to cut on costs. They do all the necessary from creating own design and implementation to shortening programs from 2 days to a day or 1 day to half a day.
Solutions: Budget the time as an investment to help people learn. Most companies are gearing towards blended learning, so the basic once are moved to e-Learning. Always remember though that learning is not a cost but rather an investment and there is no shortcut to effective learning.
3. Thinking education is learning - Education is learning about something. Training is learning how to do it.
Solutions: Ensure that the training is practical and relevant, where participants will be able to at least practice what they need to do through the exercises and activities. The training outcome has to make sure that the learners will be able to apply what they need to do at work.
4. Competing Priorities - Employees are continually working to prioritize sometimes overwhelming lists of tasks and meetings, and typically training sessions take a back seat to anything that directly supports the business.
Solutions: Make it a smooth process by planning and prioritizing ahead. Organizers to communicate earlier, leaders to take note of the needed investment and rest of the team to support while others are attending the program.
5. Lack of Interest/Accountability - This is top challenge for L&D practitioners. Many employee training programs struggle with a lack of interest from workers who fail to see the value or benefits of training courses to their personal success.
Solutions: Marketing the programs strategically, ensuring support from leaders and making sure that employees do understand the benefits of the training.
6. Relying on Technology to do the work for you - Sometimes we might feel that technology is all the solutions to our training problems. Keep in mind that the mobile app, e-learning platform or video training you have might not be the best to address your needs.
Solutions: Ensure that a training need analysis is done properly, all capability gaps are identified based on job roles of employees and the technology you will choose will help you maximize learning based on company's needs that supports the instructional design of your programs before, during and after the training.
7. Failing to follow-up post training - This is our challenge as a provider, as we will not be around to help on ensuring retention without any follow-up activities/training. New skills, techniques and learnings has to be practiced and applied, otherwise, 90% of what you learned will be lost.
Solutions: Follow-up activities and training, projects that will reinforce the learning and support from management by discussing with their direct reports what was learned and developing an action plan.
8. Lack of support/empowerment from leaders - One of the challenges L&D practitioners face is the lack of support or empowerment from leaders when it comes to training. Some leaders do not understand how critical learning is in the success of the business.
Solutions: A better understanding of the leaders as well as of the programs will help in how you should present the programs and investment to the stakeholders to get their buy-ins. Giving leaders proper training and understanding of the return of investment will help.