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5 signs your training methods are ineffective


In any profession, there are moments of difficulty in which training and development are needed. However, some organizations have been more successful than others at providing quality development. For a manager or recruiter, the success of their organization starts with the development and training of their employees. One of the simplest ways to ensure this happens is to assess what needs to be developed and provide it to trainees.


Training methods are those approaches organizations use to provide learning and development opportunities. The training method or approach defines the structure, time, and resources that will be used within a training experience. Training methods are meant to help employees learn or increase their knowledge or skills and improve performance. Most organizations have a variety of training methods in place. They often communicate the effectiveness of each, but only a few understand which approach is best for each individual employee group. As a result, they choose training methods that are too generic for individuals experiencing difficulty in a particular area; they fail to match the employee with the appropriate learning style and methodology.


Training methods allow the organization to help its employees learn skills that are necessary for their position or role in the organization and help them increase or improve upon those skills. Training methods also provide employees with a means to assess their knowledge and skills level and identify areas for improvement. Training methods also allow the organization to address any challenges employees may have in their performance effectively.

Training methods are used along with training objectives. A training objective is something we want an employee to accomplish at the end of a training program. This could entail learning new skills, improving existing knowledge or competencies, and/or addressing performance challenges.


No matter how employees are being trained, whether in groups or individually, the chosen training method helps ensure that employees actually learn what they are intended to. A training method is designed to improve the organization’s performance by increasing employee learning and development. These opportunities allow organizations to help new and existing employees grow in their performance, career progression, and leadership development.

Training methods also help set clear expectations for what is expected at each stage of the training process. This allows for greater understanding between trainees and trainers as well as keeps both parties accountable for meeting predetermined goals. Training methods also provide trainees with a plan that guides them through their present situation to a desired solution or goal within an organization.


These are the 5 signs that your training methods are ineffective:

  1. IMITATION: Imitation occurs when an employee or group of employees attempt to imitate someone’s behavior, typically that of a manager or other group leader, without necessarily understanding its rationale. In this case, a training program could be more effective if it provided employees with the why behind any advice they are given. This way, they can decide if they want to do what is being suggested or not (or do something different). Imitation behaviors can be a symptom of resistance.
  2. ASSIMILATION: Assimilation occurs when trainees simply adopt someone else’s ideas, techniques, and structure without understanding its rationale. In this case, managers are providing employees with information that the employee group is not acting upon in a meaningful way. If trainees are able to deduce the reasoning behind any changes that have been made, they can improve their performance and increase their ability to solve problems or overcome challenges. An effective training program will provide employees with or allow them to determine the criteria for improvement, growth, or progress. Assimilation behaviors can be a symptom of resistance.
  3. RESISTANCE: Resistance occurs when employees are not willing to do something they are required to do. For example, an organization may be trying to hire a new employee but requires the employee to train on a new computer system that is not yet in use. It is unacceptable for an employee to simply refuse to use the new system and continue using their previous one; the company must find a way for the employee to transition efficiently.
  4. OBSCURATION: When training methods fail, other techniques must be implemented in order for effective learning and development programs to succeed. This includes strategies that promote open communication between managers and employees about what goals or objectives are being met and what needs improvement (or training). It is difficult for organizations to know what type of training is appropriate when they are not getting feedback from employees regarding their progress. If a manager provides employees with performance improvement strategies or tools that they fail to utilize, it can be considered obscuration.
  5. DYSFUNCTION: Dysfunction occurs when an employee fails in some way, and another individual or group must pick up the slack for the failing worker. For example, an employee may not have been trained properly and fails to do an assigned task, so higher management steps in to complete it for them. In this situation, the failing worker is obviously not meeting their own goals and objectives, and their performance should be evaluated as such. This situation may have also been aggravated by a lack of transparency and communication between trainee and trainer.


An effective training method must meet the needs and the learning styles of an organization’s employees. Conversely, the wrong training approach can actually have negative effects by tying up resources, reducing employee morale and productivity, and creating a negative work experience for your employees. Now that you understand why it is important to match your training method to the appropriate learning style, you will be able to better evaluate the effectiveness of your current training strategies.


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