February 21, 2024

Corporate Training: Quality vs. Quantity


We recently performed an informal poll of our learning community, and asked:

What is your frustration when it comes to learning - whether you are the teacher or the student?

67% of respondents overwhelmingly reported that their frustration was with time – time to set aside for learning, time to develop new materials, time to deliver good training experiences, and time to coach and correct and provide feedback to learners. 

And so, because time seems to be the enemy, many corporations track time in learning as their #1 metric for learning. Tracking learning hours overall, and learning hours per employee, seems to be the norm. 

So it seems that the goal of the learning team is to get employees to spend more hours in the classroom or virtual classroom. But is that really true?

A seasoned executive once shared with me how terrified he was of going to the dentist.  He didn’t understand why he had to spend so much time in pain or in an awkward position. Of course, this desire NOT to spend time in the dentist chair caused him to delay and procrastinate going to the dentist, which invariably meant he would be spending more time in the chair the next time he went. He also spent a lot longer time in pain. Wouldn’t it be better if we got the same good result, but with less time, rather than more?  

An ounce of prevention, as they say, is worth a pound of cure. If we think of high quality, early  training as not just capacity building, but preventing poor behavior and risky results, then the answer is clear. Get your teams to spend a small amount of time early, rather than a large amount of time correcting problems later. But then, we would have fewer hours of learning to report, along with our higher performance.

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