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5 Ways Ineffective Training Hurts Companies

Companies around the world devote ample time and funds to training.

Global spending for job training stood at just over $366 billion in 2018.1 Yet despite these efforts, 70% of employees say they have not mastered the skills they need to perform their jobs.2

While training initiatives are typically made with good intentions, they can prove ineffective due to hurried planning, poor timing, and a lack of follow up. Employees may be left wondering if company leaders and HR managers really understand what they need and the challenges they face on the job. And when training requirements are passed down from above, supervisors may also experience frustration with poorly planned programs. When training time feels wasted, no one is happy—and no one benefits. While it may seem that some training is superior to no training, the truth is ineffective training hurts companies in several tangible, far-reaching ways.

5 Ways Ineffective Training Hurts Companies

1. Productivity decreases.

Depending on the situation, sometimes training can actually decrease a worker’s confidence and abilities. For example, if employees in the hospitality industry are taught how to perform tasks with efficiency but without sensitivity to the guest experience, that could result in dissatisfied customers—and workers left wondering what they did wrong. Good training takes all facets of the final goal into account and works backward to craft a time-efficient, targeted training experience for employees.

2. Morale goes down.

When workers are trained incorrectly, they find out quickly. Daily tasks and expectations don’t match what they were taught in training sessions, resulting in added stress. Employees may respond to the stress by becoming increasingly frustrated, uncertain of themselves, or disinterested in their performance. These outcomes have serious negative impacts on their engagement and loyalty to the company, and the dip in morale is likely to expand to supervisors and managers as workers become dissatisfied.

3. Companies must spend more on training in the long run.

Even if quickly planned training sessions seem affordable at the time, they might end up costing a company more in the long term. When it becomes clear that the first round of training didn’t work, HR leaders will need to plan another round of training. And retraining employees who were misinformed during the initial session can be difficult—because unlearning established habits takes considerably more effort than learning to do a task well the first time.

4. Employer rankings fall.

Employees forced to sit through ineffective training sessions are more apt to complain about their situations. Even if they stay at their jobs, having dissatisfied employees can result in lower rankings on employer websites such as Glassdoor or Great Place to Work.

5. Revenue takes a hit.

The problem of ineffective employee training ultimately impacts a company’s bottom line. Stressed, frustrated employees lead to dissatisfied customers, meaning the company loses income. Clearly, listening well to employees’ needs and concerns in order to design a quality training session benefits more than just the workers—it benefits the entire company.

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