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Why Training Programs are Failing Leaders and What to Do Instead

Source |  |  BY:Roberta Chinsky Matuson, CEO Advisor, Talent Maximizer®-Speaker, President Matuson Consulting, Author-The Magnetic Leader & Suddenly in Charge

Would you keep plowing money into a product or service that wasn’t as relevant and successful as some of your other offerings? No, of course not! Then why do so many companies continue to throw money into training programs without measuring the true return on their investment?

The classroom is still king in terms of spending for training, despite ever-increasing options that are seen as more effective, according to Brandon Hall Group’s 2016 Training Benchmarking Study. The classroom is chosen 22 percent more than any other modality. But coaching/mentoring is seen as more effective for the third consecutive year, while usage is 37 percent less.

If you think about it, you can see why coaching and mentoring would be a better way to develop leaders. In the 1885 book Memory: A Contribution to Experimental Psychology, famed German psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus found that memory decreases at a rapid rate following instruction. After 20 minutes, subjects had forgotten 42 percent of what they had learned. After 24 hours, they’d forgotten 67 percent. After a month had passed, the subjects had retained a measly 21 percent of what they’d learned during instruction.

Contrast that with the amount spent on traditional training. According to the Association for Talent Development’s 2014 State of the Industry Report, organizations spend an average of $1,208 per employee on training and development. If learners only retain 20 percent of what they learn, companies are blowing $967 per employee, for every $1,208 they spend. This number doesn’t even take into account the time an employee spends away from their desk while in training, and what that equates to in terms of the acquisition and retention of customers.


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