Training modules are not a one-size-fits-all and should be created based on your organizations brand and culture. Having a well-structured and executed training module will help your organization grow and compete with others in your industry. Many organizations struggle to find training solutions that are both effective and engaging while staying in a reasonable budget, which can deter some organizations from making necessary changes to their current training modules. It is important to identify the most common training challenges before creating or modifying a training program because avoiding these challenges at the beginning will improve the overall effectiveness of your new solution.
10 Common Training Challenges
- Ineffective Training Modules: This occurs when the training relevance is not made clear to the employees, or they simply do not understand the objectives of the training. Also, the material can be outdated, which loses its relevance and loses the interest of the learner.
- Lack of Employee Engagement: Employees who are disengaged are likely to give less than 100% in their role, leaving the organization to perform under 100% as well. An organizations success comes from employee engagement. If the trainings do not grab and hold the attention of the learner, the organization will suffer.
- Maintaining a Hybrid Work Environment: There are benefits that come from hybrid working environments, but when it comes training process it is difficult to properly bridge skill gaps, have open/transparent communication, and build relationships between employees and management.
- Dealing With Change: Change is always hard to accept, especially within the workforce. New technology and changes in staffing can make the training process difficult. Organizations need to take change into account when they are trying to train. They are employees; making sure they are comfortable and understand why the changes are happening are especially important.
- Tracking Skills Applications: Tracking training effectiveness can be complicated. It is important to implement a system that can ensure new skills are learned and can be demonstrated in real life scenarios.
- Delivering Consistent Training: Many factors play a role in the inconsistency of trainings. These include but are not limited to: excessive costs, virtual training needs, geographic challenges, to language/translation barriers.
- Providing Conflict Management Skills: Conflict management is an extremely important skill for all employees to have, especially managers and leadership positions. Conflict in the workplace can increase employee turnover, decrease employee effectiveness, and decrease the overall successfulness of an organization. This skill needs to be implemented consistently throughout the organization.
- Different Learning Habits: Employers need to get to know each of their employees and their learning preferences. Not everyone will learn the same way and have the same success, providing different learning modules on the same topic can increase the employee’s individual success, in turn increasing the company's success.
- Different Generations in The Same Workplace: Having employees from varying generations is almost inevitable in the workplace, and it is important to take all generations in to consideration when developing training modules. Learning styles have evolved immensely in recent years and new learning techniques can be difficult to understand; some employees may struggle with the new systems.
- Irrelevant Trainings: Training tend to be extremely generic and do not pertain to specific roles. This makes it difficult for the learners to stay engaged and can cause the learner to become irritated because their time is being used for something that is simply irrelevant to them and their role.
Solutions To Training Challenges:
- Utilize multiple learning methods that will keep the learned engaged. (Microlearning or audiovisual elements)
- Make sure the purpose is clear to the leaner before they begin the training. Explain the benefits of the training to the learner at the beginning so they are aware of what they will be gaining.
- Allowing the learner to be self-sufficient will help motivate them to stay engaged. If they feel as though the training is unclear and they need to ask multiple questions, it can decrease their confidence in themselves and the organization.
- When working in a hybrid work environment, ensure in-person and virtual trainings are as similar as possible. This will build inclusiveness and will ensure tracking effectiveness of the training is accurate.
- When changes are occurring within the organization, be transparent with the employees. Feeling confused or "left out" can decrease their productivity, decrease their interest in learning new skills, and could result in a higher turnover for the organization. Transparency and support are key during substantial changes.
- Organizations will have to produce innovative way to track the effectiveness of their trainings. Some examples are role play based on real life situations, creative tests on certain topics, virtual or in person simulations, or evaluating their skills via games.
- To provide consistent training, modules need to be developed and ready to go as soon as the new hire beings working, and any updated trainings should be released at the same time each month. There should also be dates in place for reskilling and upskilling so employees know exactly when they will be expected to complete training throughout the year.
- Entirely avoiding conflicts is unrealistic, but there are things you can do to limit workplace disturbances. Provide all employees with conflict training, but make managers have multiple conflict trainings and refresher courses throughout their time at the organization.
- Learn every employee’s preferred learning style by sending out questionnaires or surveys. This will make everyone feel included and important. It shows that the company cares about everyone individually and will take everyone's learning process into consideration so everyone has a fair chance are learning the skills needed to succeed.
- Be aware of the generations that are mixed in your organization and identify trends, norms, and customs of these generations and target your training around those. It is important to still make everyone feel included but throw in situations that each generation can relate to and terminology that resonates with the different generations.
- It is extremely important to not overload your employees with training that does not pertain to that role. Go over each training and identify what departments and roles will benefit from that specific training and then only require those to take it. Avoid generic trainings that do not have a specific purpose, for trainings that apply to everyone (sexual harassment, safety, diversity & inclusion, etc.) make them as engaging as possible and be extremely direct.
Overcoming Workplace Training Challenges
Organization will come across many challenges during their training process, but these top challenges can be avoided or fixed. Make sure to review all your training modules to be sure that these challenges are not present. Training is not easy, and it is forever evolving, it is up to the organization to continue to develop interactive and innovative modules throughout the years. An organization is only as strong as their weakest employee, so minimizing weakness through effective trainings is the only way to go.