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Last updated: 05.10.15

The top reasons why workplace learning fails learners

Successful workplace training relies on effective leadership. You can provide your employees with all the training information and e-learning courses you can find, but if you're not fostering a culture of learning and encouraging your staff to continually upskill themselves, your efforts are unlikely to be a success.

Even employees who are regarded as experts in their field will need to undergo workplace training from time to time, whether it's to improve their soft skills or to familiarise themselves with new IT software.

However, workplace training can fail, which can be expensive for your organisation in terms of both time and money.

Here's how it can go wrong, as well as our top tips on how to make workplace training succeed:

Learners can quickly forget information

A classroom-based training session or webinar that involves management speaking to the rest of the team for several hours is never going to be the most inspiring or memorable session. What's more, you can't expect staff to understand new concepts and then apply them to real-life situations without having any practice.

If the session is unengaging, it's more likely that learners will be looking at the clock and letting their minds wander, before returning to their normal work routine, quickly forgetting everything they've just learnt.

Workplace training sessions need to be engaging. They need to be interactive, and they need to get your staff thinking, and applying what they are learning to real-life scenarios they are likely to face at work. E-learning allows for all of this, as well as letting people train at a time that's convenient to them, so their minds should never be drifting elsewhere.

Training isn't always followed up

Even the most engaging workplace training sessions are unlikely to achieve successful results if they aren't followed up and there is no opportunity for staff to practically apply what they have learnt.

Therefore, you have a responsibility to provide a credible level of training follow-through to make sure staff remember what they have learnt and are confident in using their new skills practically. Again, e-learning can help with this, ensuring the task does not eat into management’s day too much, but making sure workers are given as much time as they need to absorb information, thanks to its self-paced nature.

On-the-job training is often neglected

Practical, on-the-job training is just as important as theoretical classroom-based learning. It's management's responsibility to encourage this, and provide employees with the tools they need - such as access to the Virtual College Learning Management System - to complete this.

Encouraging continual on-the-job training can help to transform your company into one that's much more flexible and creative, where employees feel supported to progress and achieve success.

Training results aren't always measured

Successful workplace training can't be proved if results aren't measured. Asking for feedback on the effectiveness of training sessions is only the first step in this; you also need to monitor staff's progress in a real-life setting to see how successfully they apply their new knowledge and skills.

If you spot any areas where employees still need to improve, you'll be able to support them through this, rather than let their performance be negatively affected, which will help to boost their morale.

At Virtual College, we have an extensive range of e-learning courses on everything from basic food hygiene to manual handling, for employees at every stage in their career. Explore our full offering here.

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