Most companies have realised that they need to invest in their employees if they want them to keep excelling at their responsibilities. But there are some widespread hard-held beliefs about training and development for employees that can distort its image and potentially lead to wrong decisions.
If you are an HR manager, you may want to make sure you know they're false.
1. Training solves most internal problems. If only it were so easy. Unfortunately, a multitude of factors can be responsible for a problem inside your company. It's therefore, important to analyse the specific problem, identify its main causes, and examine how these causes emerged. Only then you can start thinking about possible remedies. Training may be part of the solution - or not.
2. Training is a waste of time and money. Many opponents of staff training programs argue that, more often than not, those programs aren't much more than a paid holiday. This may be true for bad or poorly conducted employee trainings - but that doesn't mean that it is not worth investing in employee development: If the people who work for your company lack crucial skills or don't have the opportunity to catch up to the latest knowledge and technology, your company will invariably suffer. 3. Training doesn't prepare for real-life situations. There is a misconception that training, because it often takes place in fake environments and only simulates reality, can therefore never be a good preparation for real problems in authentic situations. True, many training programs involve simulations, such as role plays. But that doesn't mean they're not helpful. After all, prospective pilots use simulators to learn how to fly a plane and, happily, they seem to be able to transfer their knowledge acquired in the simulator to the actual cockpit situation just fine.
4. You cannot measure the return on investment. If you pay a lot of money for training and development programs, you want to make sure they're worth it - and so you should! It's absolutely possible to quantify training success. You just need to define your specific objectives for the various training programs, the desired outcomes of each program or activity. Then you determine how you will be able to tell if they've been achieved, the "key performance indicators" or KPIs, and how you can capture the measured improvements in numbers.
5. You always need external trainers, which is expensive. Yes, in many training situations you need experts who conduct the training sessions or workshops. But for just as many staff training and development needs, you can let your employees help each other by establishing mentoring and peer-to-peer learning schemes - and you can enable them to learn independently and in their own time, for instance by giving them access to e-learning tools or platforms.