Why do training programs fail?

Training failure

Training is one of the area which has yet not made its place in many companies. Training is still conducted in many organizations like formalities rather than as a tool which can impact business growth. There are many training programs which happen in a year in an organization but un-fortunately most of them do not make any impact on productivity or profitability. Then the questions comes why can’t management notice it? Why it waste time on activities which do not have any impact?

I feel training fails due to following reasons:

Management fails to understand that training programs can really impact business

Management of company do not take training programs seriously and one of the reasons behind this is failure to understand that training programs can actually impact business. Or, sometime training programs are not directed to business goals.

Management need to understand that in the world of change, employees should also be trained to acquire new competencies and technical knowledge. Training becomes more important in industries which are most likely to change or new technologies comes every year like IT, telecom etc. Company should treat training as investment to get more productivity from existing manpower by enhancing their skill set rather than hiring it from outside which will be costlier and may also create motivational problem in organization. Companies who have understood this, have made a difference in the way they do business. Employees are satisfied as they feel that organization is also committed in their personal growth by training them on modern skill set so that they are ready for new competitive world. It is a WIN WIN deal for both organization and employees. Management should be foresighted to get best out of training programs.

Surprisingly, HR fails to understand importance of training programs

This is quite surprising but truth. HR professionals of many companies do not understand value of training programs. They just create training calendar and coordinate to execute training programs but do not understand what sort of impact these training programs will have on business or there is no impact. HR conducts training programs because it is part of their job responsibilities and they need to justify their contribution. There is no need to conduct many training programs but need of conducting training programs which have a value.

Simply asking participants to fill the feedback form do not serve the purpose. HR need to actively monitor ROI (Return on Investment) of each training program conducted. Actually, evaluating ROI takes more time then coordinating for a training program. That is one of the reasons, why HR runs away from doing it sincerely. Also, HR is so busy in day to day routine work that they never get time to conduct such activities which will lead to positive impact on business.

HR should ensure that training programs planned in training calendar should help in achieving organizational, departmental or individual level goals. Some training programs are focused to achieve short term goals and others to achieve long term goals.

Poor home work before trainings-TNA-Training Need Assessment

Training Need Assessment is pre training exercise. In this exercise, HR along with line manager tries to find out what are the training needs of a department. HR also discuss with management to identify training programs which will help in achieving organizational goal. Performance management and competency mapping exercise can provide training needs at individual level. Any major change in government policies or infrastructural change can also invoke a training program. Example, if organization takes a decision to change all its old machinery with new technology machines then training program is required for operators to operate new machines who are use to use old ones.

Honestly speaking, there are only few organizations which actually take this exercise seriously. It takes lot of time to understand training needs at each level. Until organization understand value of training programs, less time will be devoted in TNA and if TNA is not correct then training conducted basis that TNA will surely be not impactful.

So I would suggest to all my HR friends who are responsible for conducting training programs in their organization at any level should ensure that TNA is done correctly and after that training conducted should give ROI to organization else it is an exercise which has no meaning.

You can also refer to my blog posts “How to get best out of training programs conducted in your organization?” and “How to measure ROI (Return on Investment) of training programs in your organization?”

Please do share your feedback.


  1. Srimanigandanmm October 10, 2013 11:56 am  Reply

    Really fascinating!

    • govindsinghnegi October 10, 2013 12:23 pm  Reply

      Dear Friend,

      Thanks for your appreciation.

    • govindsinghnegi November 15, 2013 8:52 am  Reply

      Thanks Mr Reddy

  2. B Jangaa Reddy January 20, 2014 5:20 am  Reply

    Wow really useful and helpful.

  3. govindsinghnegi January 20, 2014 3:59 pm  Reply

    Thanks Reddy

  4. krishnasiddardha June 26, 2014 9:57 am  Reply

    Dear Govind Singh,

    I just came across this blog couple of days back. I have never seen a HR like you. You are really worth appreciating for your work. You are spending lot of time and answering very basic questions to top level questions. I have gone through many a blogs and even famous HR Websites but no one is giving this kind of crystal clear explanation.Most of the senior or experienced(can understand they got their works to finish) people are not spending much time to answer queries of juniors/fellow HRs.

    It’s really amazing the kind of efforts you are putting in and the way queries are answered by you.

    I request you to please continue with your patience and share your knowledge in future.

    I personally would like to see you one of the best HR in INDIA!!

    • govindsinghnegi June 29, 2014 4:29 am  Reply

      Dear Krishna,

      Thanks a lot for your appreciation. I am trying to do my bit for HR ferterntiy.

      • Lele June 10, 2015 11:46 pm  Reply

        Wow this is amazing you are truely inspiration

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