Why Employee Development Plans Fail

You have your work cut out for you as a trainer. Truth be told, you can pour hours of your life into preparing a training session but the work you do will be rendered useless if you find you are part of an organisation that doesn’t really foster the development of its employees.

Before you plan your next training session, consider the four main developmental blocks. They are:

  • Unrewarding organisations. Does your organisation encourage employees to obtain training and/or reward them for seeking it out? Are employees motivated to seek further education?
  • Difficult line managers. Upper management may require additional training, but sometimes middle and lower management finds it difficult to let employees off the hook for for the time needed to actually obtain that training. Through not fault of your own you suddenly have employees who can’t meet their educational goals because their managers simply won’t let them.
  • Passive participants. In some cases the employees themselves really don’t care about receiving additional training. They come to work to do their jobs, collect a paycheck, and go home. This may work for them but in the grand scheme of things can prove detrimental to the overall goals of your organisation.
  • Trainers who can’t promote development. It’s one thing to give a training seminar, but a completely different thing to teach attendees how to use the skills they’ve learned when they return to their offices. I’ve actually been to training seminars in which the presenter has followed people back to their desks to help them experiment with new software programs or to show them how to incorporate new skills. You can’t just drop information in a person’s lap and expect him to know what to do with it.

As a trainer it’s your responsibility to identify these blocks and find ways to work around them. Communicate with all levels of management and with every employee to ensure your organisation’s training requirements are clear. There’s no reason for anyone to be left in the dark with it comes to continuing education.

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training | Management Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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