Employees’ negative attitude about training, who is to blame?



Most employees have a negative perception of training and at times view it as punishment.

Helpful as it may appear to be to many employees, it is something they may forgo if they were given a choice.

Why is this so and what can we do about it?

The problem normally starts at the top. Many a time managers blow off the training because they don’t need it.

The effect this sends is a strong message to all their subordinates that this training is not worth their time.

It follows then that if leaders haven’t attended the training themselves, how can they reinforce the message?

Take for instance in the   medical environment where all the time it is the nursing staff that has to attend customer service training, not the doctors who may regard themselves as too senior.

Guess who treats both the nurses and the patients poorly? It is the doctors? This will no doubt send a wrong message to the nurses? No wonder why they may not be interested in the training.

What then could be done in order to stimulate interest in the subordinates?

If you are going to have training for your subordinates, there is need to go through it yourself as the line manager.

When you are there, support the trainer and your learners. Being part of the training as the line manager will stimulate interest in the subordinates.

The only time you may want to consider not attending is if you want your people to interact freely with the trainer without your possibly intimidating presence.

This is a very valid reason for not being there. If that’s the case – inform your subordinates. Tell them you think the training is important and why you are not going.

No one likes boring training, so there is need to make sure the training is good and has to value for the attendees.

This seems obvious, but something horrible has happened to people.

They have had to sit through boring sessions and they hated it. It is vital to look for presenters out there that have high energy, humour and great information. Take the time to identify trainers who can rise to the occasion.

If you are using internal trainers, make sure they don’t get burnt out and bored with their own material. Take good care of them since they have a big impact on your employees.

Good training can help with morale and retention. Do not settle for a boring training session.

It may help if the training session is punctuated with icebreakers and energisers that ensure they are active and are part of the process.

So as a trainer, you need not embarrass your participants in the process. Make it fun, but don’t make participants feel stupid or uncomfortable.

Most adults are terrified of looking like idiots so endeavor to make training fun and safe or your people will dread it.

So it is imperative for the manager to be supportive of the learning initiatives subordinates in order to assist them to appreciate the training.

Remember your subordinates are the most valuable resources you need to accomplish your organisational goals.


Paul Nyausaru is an HR Practitioner and leadership coach. For all your HR interventions and leadership development training, you can get in touch with him on WhatsApp/call +263774062756 or email pnyausaru@gmail.com



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