Why Training Alone Falls Short in Achieving Results

One of my biggest lessons I first learnt as a trainer was that “training hasn’t happened until behaviour has changed back on the job and becomes a new habit.” Training is the start. It has to be relevant and have good content, but unless the trainee adopts the new learning, it is a waste of time. So, let’s look at training in more detail, because it is the difference between your team offering mediocre service and great service.

Training is the start, not the end

A number of managers think that once their team are trained that’s the end of it; they’ll put in place the new skills and maintain a high level of performance from now on. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I wish it were that simple.

There are many reasons why training doesn’t provide the magic fix. The training may not be good or effective, the team member may be resistant to learning, or the manager might be a roadblock.

The manager has to support the team member’s attendance at training, and be willing and able to follow up when the team member returns to work. If the manager does not support their attendance, you can forget about the training! I have seen many businesses train their team without the buy-in or involvement of the manager, and the result is always the same: the training fails and the trainer or training is blamed.

Training doesn’t necessarily fix things

Another belief of some managers is that training will fix things. A team member is not performing to the required level, so the manager thinks they need re-training. Unfortunately, it is often not a re-training issue but an attitude issue.

One of the best sayings I learnt early on in my training career was if you promised the team member a million dollars, can they do the task? If they can’t, it’s a training issue; if they can, it’s an attitude issue. The team member is choosing to not do the task for some reason.

If the team member can’t do the task, then they need help such as training. If they can do it, but are choosing not to, then the manager needs to find out what the blockage is. This could involve a number of things. The issue usually lies with the team member themselves – they don’t want to, can’t be bothered, etc. This requires a much tougher conversation with the team member and follow-up back on the job, not in a training room.

Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.