Unfortunately the ‘blame game’ isn’t something linked to my last post about gamification. It relates to a catchphrase that was a running joke in a previous role. In my time as a trainer there were a few occasions where team members received feedback when things didn’t quite go to plan or individuals were under-performing after attending training of some description. You may (or may not) have come across similar examples;
“I wasn’t shown that in training”
“I wasn’t told that in training”
“The training didn’t really cover what I needed”
“The training wasn’t clear enough”
“We ran out of time and things were rushed”
“It didn’t tell me anything new”
“The room was too hot”
“There were no cups in the drinks machine”
Well then….”blame training”, because when under performance is an issue, the finger can rest at the door of the training department. I’ve been thinking about this following a conversation with a member of my network as they had received some feedback on training that supported a large change programme. I also recently came across an online discussion on induction training that linked in well with this topic.
The standout feedback from the change programme related to the guidance provided around some self-directed learning. The feedback suggested a large number of people would have preferred an instructor/facilitator in the room when they were completing the modules.
The forum discussion started when a group of new employees had been asked how they had found their induction experience. I was quite surprised at how many of the posts described how much MORE information the induction should have covered to prepare them for the role. There were also replies that the induction didn’t prepare them for the role as it was too far removed from what the actual role involved.
In both cases the feedback is of course important for continuous improvement, but it also made me think about organisational culture and the culture of the training department itself; how does this drive the expectation around what training will achieve/deliver? This includes
when existing employees are trained on new processes or products or when any new training need is established and training becomes involved.
In my own experience there is still an expectation from learner, leader and trainer that some sort of formal training will be required as the solution to “get the message across” and this will be done in a classroom setting with a facilitator because “this is how training is done”. It’s also tends to be something that is ‘completed’ with a start and a finish time.
Of course it’s easy to “blame” training, it’s visible, tangible and it can *ahem* be measured. It’s an easy target,
one that can quite easily deflect from the root cause and it conveniently provides a scapegoat for under performers or line managers that aren’t managing performance as effectively as they could.
To combat this is it time for training departments, or rather Learning Professionals, to really challenge the culture around training within their organisations and educate people on what formal training can and will achieve? It is time to shift thinking and focus in training departments themselves?
Do we need to move towards and use more effective performance support methods and focus on on-the-job experiential learning to be more meaningful to an organisation and add more value?
Does the “blame training” mentality exist because training is still seen as something that is “done to people” and could
these sorts of views and challenges represent a culture where there is a lack of ownership for personal development and learning?
Would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this. The Blame Game – Learning Cafe