The Top 10 Myths of Workforce Development

Industry week recently ran a great piece on the top 10 myths of workforce development that is worth repeating since there is a big difference between effective workforce development that will increase the productivity of your staff and ineffective workforce development that will decrease the motivation of your staff.

  1. If you build it, they will come.
    Tell that to the manager who spent a million dollars on a “smart” toilet paper dispenser that insured no one could take more than the allotted number of tabs per trip to the toilet.
  2. When times are tough, cut training first.
    When times are tough, you should double the training budget as you have to get lean and mean. If you really need to cut, fire the moron in management who is the first to suggest you cut training.
  3. Just build e-learning courses. It’s cheaper.
    You need customized content development by an expert, which is costly, and then customized IT development, which is costly, and then controlled testing to make sure your students took the course and grasped the material, which is costly. If you add it all up, you’ll find that custom e-learning course development is not cheap at all.
  4. All training must be done in an instructor-based classroom setting in order to be valuable and convey important knowledge.
    Uhm, no. Some training can be pre-defined cookie-cutter web-training. Some can be on-line multi-media delivery. Some can be classroom.
  5. Once learners go through training, the manager never needs to find out how they are applying what they learned … that’s why they went through training.
    The first thing the manager needs to do is find out what they aren’t applying that they learned and how he can redesign processes and remove roadblocks to help his employees apply that knowledge.
  6. It is always better to look for your own local vendor.
    You need the experts, regardless of where they are located.
  7. Sending people on a training course will solve all performance problems and development needs.
    Sending people on a course will help them identify all the performance problems that are likely your fault. Until you eliminate those, there will continue to be performance problems.
  8. It will be obvious to a skilled trainer what each class participant needs so there is no need to discuss it in advance.
    As a former Professor and Professional Trainer, I love this one. I’m supposed to know the difference between a student who is staring blankly because he doesn’t know the prerequisite material from one who has trouble with the language of the course from one with an attention deficit disorder from one who finds the material too remedial if he won’t talk and you never discussed the goals and individual learning needs with me? HA!
  9. I’ve done presentations. Professional trainers make out that it is far more difficult than it really is.
    There’s blowing your own horn and actually conveying knowledge to another person. I would contest that many “presenters” don’t know the difference.
  10. We don’t need a university — we have a learning management system.
    If you hear this, be sure to follow it with a “and we don’t need you either” because if that kind of thinking is allowed to fester in your organization, you can forget about ever achieving any innovation whatsoever.