5 reasons not to invest in training for your team

By: Ariana Friedlander Monday November 16, 2020 0 comments Tags: Ariana Friedlander

By Ariana Friedlander

With there being so much uncertainty in the air right now, a lot of businesses are cutting their budgets. It makes complete sense to shore-up your finances by not overspending your money, I mean tapping into reserves is something we save for a rainy day and this entire year has been one giant tsunami so....friedlander-blog-photo.fixed  

Of course, there are a few items that often get cut first like marketing, staff and talent development. It makes complete sense, these are high ticket items, not worth the risk even though they are each intended to give a return. Why bother making investments in your business or team if cutting costs is what everyone else is doing anyway.

If you're looking for rationale to cut talent development, here are five reasons not to invest in training your team.

  1. No one wants to be lectured to. This is a classic problem, somehow training and development companies missed the memo about adult learners. They treat training like an audio-visual download of expertise. There's the expert at the front of the room chaperoned by their PowerPoint, complete with text-heavy slides that only highlight the most important points. It's like getting a supersized preview of the thickest textbook in the world (there isn't a brown paper bag big enough to cover) read to you in a monotonous tone. As the lecturer drones on you look out the window (if you're lucky enough to be in a room with a window) and fantasize about being a squirrel because unlike you they're free to do as they please. 
  2. Really expensive yawn factories. Training your team is expensive. Not only do you have to cover bringing in an outside expert, but you have to pay everyone in the room for their time to be there - it adds up fast. Meanwhile, you look around the room and what do you see? Everyone's yawning (because they're being lectured to). Wow, what a waste of time, and money. Although on the plus side, after being lulled so expertly, perhaps your team will have a good night of uninterrupted sleep instead of waking up at 2 a.m. with anxiety-like they do most nights these days.
  3. While entertaining, no one actually learned anything. Of course, there are those rare trainers that are actually very entertaining. They're funny and make your team laugh. Perhaps they even do some magic that your team will be talking about for the next week. Unfortunately, it's not so fun practicing taking a quarter out from behind the ear of your co-worker on zoom. While entertaining, there are specials on Netflix that can offer your team the same quality laughs at a fraction of the price. And let's be real, like a Netflix special, an entertaining training results in all talk and no action anyway. I mean, what's the point of investing in a training if no one actually learns anything, as in they still don't change their behavior or start doing what you want them to do!
  4. If it’s not meaningful or relevant it’s worthless. Has this happened to you before? Your boss learns about some new personality test and declares that everyone else in the company needs to take it. You, of course, oblige and are disappointed to see how inaccurate your results are. Meanwhile, two pressing issues continue to go unaddressed. You're still at odds with a co-worker, because you didn't actually talk directly about the problems between you two in this training that was supposed to cure your ills. Now you can just write each other off, cause she's a red and you're a yellow. And no one's actually shown you the ins-and-outs of how to use the new enterprise resource management system, which is especially frustrating. Maybe if your boss and the trainer actually listened to your needs, they could provide you training support that will truly make a difference!
  5. People have got work to do. Do you know what's not happening when someone is in a training? They aren't doing their jobs. Who cares if they might do their job better after. What difference does it make if they could learn how to be more effective and efficient in the long-run. All that matters is this moment, right, it's a present, ya know. So why waste the present moment by sending team members into a training when they could check some things off their never-ending to-do list now?  

So, you're right. If the training you were thinking about investing in is all lecture, or is entertaining but lacks substance, or is not easy for your team to integrate into their work, save your money. There are loads of overpriced, underwhelming training options out there. If you're gonna spend your hard-won dollars, you deserve to invest in something that'll directly address your problems and make a lasting impact.

Ariana Friedlander

About the Author: Ariana Friedlander

Ariana Friedlander is the founder and principal of Rosabella Consulting, LLC, and has more than nine years of experience working with small businesses, nonprofits and government agencies to create strategies for successful organizational growth.