Five Myths About Training

Published on: July 25, 2019
By: Lynne Leslie

We have all invested time and money in training programs. Some of these may have been classroom-based, some online, and some may have even combined classroom or workshop sessions with online reinforcement (videos, stories, quizzes).

The reasons that many of us take training are varied. Maybe you need to be certified in a certain area in order to do your job, or advance in your career. Perhaps you work in an industry like manufacturing, banking or transportation where much of the training is compliance-driven (you invest in the training because you have to).

The best reason for training is to increase knowledge, and to develop the competency and confidence in the learner. The payback comes from competency to do a task or a job more efficiently and effectively.

Whether you are taking a course as part of onboarding for a new job, or you are a lifelong learner curious to acquire a new skill, you’ve been exposed to what we think of as myths about training. Dispelling these myths is a good way of understanding the value of offering training to your employees and finding ways to better yourself and your company.

Myth #1: Everybody Learns the Same Way

Everybody works differently, thinks differently, and learns differently. For example, some people are very visual learners who seem like they absorb information. Others are more linear, or more list-based. Of course, there are many studies about the four (or five) generations in the workplace and how they think and work based on their life experience.

Understanding these learning style differences is the first step in providing effective training and support… and in building on people’s strengths to ensure their success.

Myth #2: Hard Skills Matter More than Soft Skills

There is a saying that “companies hire for hard skills and fire for soft skills.” If that is the case, then soft skills are surely as important as hard skills, but those skills are harder to grow if they are not there to begin with. You can train somebody to be an engineer (hard skills set), but can you teach someone to be a good leader? Or a good co-worker?  Another saying “Hire for soft skills and then train for hard skills” is another way of highlighting the importance of soft skills and the wisdom of offering job-specific training and support to good employees and managers.

Myth #3: Training is for Compliance

It is true that much training happens for compliance. But it also offers opportunities for growth, learning, and career advancement that are beyond compliance requirements set by a governmental or industry body. Safety or quality training for workers at a plant might be required to achieve certification from a third party but, more importantly, it also makes sense for the business to make better products in a safer environment.

Myth #4: Training Alone Improves Performance

It is important to do the right thing once a training session is over. Do you offer post-training reminders and reinforcement? What about ways to reinforce learning like post-workshop coaching, or real-life work project learning assignments?

Further, does the work environment encourage changed behavior after the training? Is the training put into practice on the shop floor, or is there just a certificate on the wall?

Myth #5: Training is a One-Time Activity

Training has to be part of an ongoing way of thinking to be most effective. Support tools, a community of students who trained together and check in on each other, opportunities for refresher courses, success stories that illustrate how the training made the people and the business better … all of these are keys to a great return on your training investment.

Taking the Next Step

Training can be offered in many ways, not all of them requiring large budgets or travel. These include public training sessions, webinars, and onsite workshops. Are you ready to make concrete improvements by thinking differently about training and support? The Luminous Group can help.

The Luminous Group wants to make it easier for companies to start this change in thinking, and accelerate excellence. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us.