Does Employee Training Really Work?

For more than fourteen years I've been appraising adult employee training programs and have come to the conclusion that most are a waste of time. Why do I say such a thing? What evidence do I have that supports this preposterous statement?

Imagine you have decided to implement a Sales Training class for your employees. You have a program that was written by the very best sales experts in the business. After arranging the training room and putting together the video tapes, audio tapes, transparencies, text books, and so forth, you launch the training program.

Visualize a group of twenty-five intelligent, motivated, adult employees, consistently attending the class. The students take copious notes, pay almost desperate attention, and never miss a single session. At the end, the instructor gives a final exam with one hundred carefully thought out questions that are virtually impossible to answer unless the student absolutely knows the material ...cold! They owe me a raise!

The grades are posted, and 98% of the employees pass the program with better than 80% correct answers. They have demonstrated superior knowledge of the subject. Therefore, certificates of achievement are given to each of the graduates. The training program is considered a tremendous success! The business owner should be extremely happy. After all, "knowledge is power", right?

Successful entrepreneurs realize that knowledge is not power! Knowledge has potential power, but only if the employee puts that knowledge into practice, producing measurable results! In other words, " applied knowledge is power".

When I went back to see how many of the graduates actually put into practice their new knowledge, I found less than 10% of what they learned was consistently applied producing improved results. So their real test score was less than 10%. The training program, in reality, was a tremendous failure because it didn't translate knowledge into measurable results!

By the time a person becomes an adult, they have developed solid habits of behavior that are very difficult to change. So, if the training program doesn't include a method that helps the adult identify and modify unproductive habit patterns, it should be considered incomplete.

Oh yes, one last thought. It is definitely possible to create a training program that successfully identifies and modifies unproductive habits producing lasting, measurable results. I know this is true, because we did it! If you're a training professional or business executive and interested in learning more, all you need to do is contact us for more information.

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