Training is a turn-off

Apr 02 2004 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Most workers agree that training is essential to career development. But many view the courses they attend as irrelevant and uninspiring and treat them a day’s paid holiday.

A survey of 1500 people by Office Angels has found that more than a third (36 per cent) believe training is "frequently irrelevant or fails to teach the necessary skills".

One in three said that training techniques are either “uninspiring or uninteresting” and one in five said that they had attended courses without having to speak or interact. Unsurprisingly, half said that they treat most training “like a day off”.

Despite this, nine out of ten workers believed it was vital to their career progression.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) suggests employees would engage more with training if they were able to control their own learning.

Spokesperson Martyn Sloman said: "Organisations need to place emphasis on the individual to shape his or her learning within the boundaries of the organisation's values and strategies."

Another alternative solution to the flagging popularity of traditional training is to shock employees, encouraging them to learn business skills though placing them in completely unusual situations.

According to the Office Angels survey, half of employers would be willing to put staff through SAS-style ‘assert courses’ such as wading through mud and climbing pipes or ‘Office Karaoke’ where team members try to sing in harmony, if it brought long term benefits.

Another course is known as 'building bridges' - a team building exercise where one person takes the lead, encouraging them to be more confident and take the initiative.

But whatever approach is adopted, Office Angels’ Paul Jacobs makes the obvious point that any course needs to be “relevant, interactive and engaging” - but let’s hope not too painful.