Why training is still not delivering results – are you conducting the right kind of TNA?

March 13th, 2015

Why is training still not delivering resultsThis month we have been talking about Training Needs Analysis – why it’s important, how to do it well and what works and what doesn’t.

I saw a statistic in the Evening Standard recently that stated that a quarter of all workplace training is a waste. Given that leadership development is becoming one of the top priorities on many a business’ agenda and more and more people are conducting TNA’s to identify the training needs, it seems crazy to me that so much of it is still not working.

What do I think from my personal experience of receiving training? I’m afraid I have to agree that a lot of it is wasted.

I have been on many a rubbish training course. Only last week I attended a workshop that was so far removed from what I needed and expected of it, the only benefit I got out of it was some swapped business cards and a new LinkedIn connection. I certainly didn’t learn anything, or anything I did learn has been swiftly forgotten and not used.

Although this is certainly not one of the worst training courses I’ve attended. That award goes to some team development I had to do in a previous role. It was experiential, it was fun, but given that our team already worked pretty well together, it didn’t have any effect whatsoever on our team dynamic.

So what is the best training I’ve ever received?

It has to be a strategic marketing course. Now this was less experiential – more of typical classroom session with a lengthy PowerPoint. But with this training I left feeling excited to implement what I had learned back at work. And as a result of this training I am now thinking far more strategically, not just about our marketing, but about the business in general. I have proved that I know what I’m talking about to my managers and have taken a huge step up in responsibility. You couldn’t really ask more from a two day classroom training course!

What was the difference between the two courses?

It all boils down to choice. Whilst the team development was certainly more engaging in its style, it had been decided from someone sat in the head office that it was what was needed and that we all needed to attend. I had worked with my manager to identify the strategic marketing course as something that I should do. It fitted in not only with the needs of the business but also my own personal development and aspirations. I was always going to be more engaged with the latter.

It’s clear to me that a TNA only delivers results if you take the time to get buy in from the people you are training. It cannot be something that is done to people, but identified with them for their own development as well as that of the business. That’s why a good TNA should take time and should be about really getting to know the people in a business, rather than relying purely on data and statistics.

Do you agree? How are TNA’s conducted in your business?

By Emma Webb