Effective training can have significant, positive impacts on a company’s bottom line, and we encourage all organizations to implement training programs for their employees. However, it is not the case that some training is always better than no training. In fact, poor training can be extremely counterproductive.
Here are just a few of the potential consequences of a poorly planned or executed training program:
Perhaps the most significant risk of poor training involves safety issues. This is obviously primarily specific to safety training, but even when the focus of the training isn’t on safety, poorly planned training could make ordinary activities less safe. Consider, for instance, training employees on stocking shelves in a manufacturing environment or on transferring patients from a wheelchair to a hospital bed in a medical setting. In fact, just about every activity that an employee engages in involves some form of safety risk. Training initiatives need to keep this top-of-mind.
Writing for Training & eTracking Solutions, Matt Gardner notes that, “a happy employee means a smooth running business. If your employees haven’t been properly trained, then they could eventually feel unsatisfied at work, feeling the stress from their job, and not performing as well.”
Employees also want to feel that their time is well spent and that they are attaining value from the training sessions they are required to attend—and even those they choose to attend voluntarily.
In addition to reducing morale, poor training could actually result in employees doing their jobs more poorly than they did before receiving training. Poorly planned training could mean employees are less efficient or less thorough as a result of the training. In other words, training could teach the trained to do their jobs improperly.
Consider, for instance, training on using a customer service support system. There are a number of ways one might go about entering a new customer into a system—some more efficient than others, some more pleasing to the customer than others.
Cost of Additional Training
Finally, poor training can ultimately lead to costly retraining, on top of the inefficiencies or errors that may have been created.
Clearly, there are a number of potential downfalls that companies may experience when training programs are not well developed or well executed. Take the time to ensure that your training efforts are not only aligned with business strategy, but that your training execution meets employee needs and avoids the potential for costly risks related to ineffective training.