Barriers To Effective Training and Development


What types of things hinder effective training and development in companies today?


This was a question asked at a recent HR Roundtable event held in Cincinnati, Ohio. Susan Otto, trainer extraordinaire and owner of, LLC was present and provided her professional insight and comments. Steve Browne, facilitator of the Greater Cincinnati HR Association (GCHRA) HR Roundtable, provided the following documentation of the discussion that day. We have also provided additional notes from Susan’s small group discussion.

Steve Browne’s Facilitation Notes:

  • Budgets. When the first economic downturn hits, training and development budgets get chopped. Many companies fail to see training as an “investments.”
  • The culture of senior management. These leaders need to encourage, foster, and believe in the training and development of their employees and influence the budget to align it with the strategy of the company.
  • Lack of vision. Enhance the vision and have it be a key component before implementing the next “flavor of the month” best practice.
  • Time and staffing. If these components are not valued, then there will always be a lack of time, funding, and staffing assigned to training and development. There has to be sustainability, value, and behavioral shifts which show tangible results.
  • Reactive vs. Proactive. If we’re always striving just to catch up, we’ll never make an impact on our businesses.
  • No perceived value. If employees who attend don’t see that they can use what is taught, then that is a much more critical loss of value than any financial issues will ever generate.

Susan Otto’s Small Group Notes:

  • Attitude – we’ve always done it that way.
  • Thinking it’s an event, instead of a process.
  • Can’t share information – knowledge is power.
  • Work ethic.
  • No link to the mission, vision, and values.
  • Risky because they’re afraid to admit they don’t know.
  • Level of, or lack of, commitment.
  • Job silos – only know your job.
  • Reluctant to train others because you might lose your job.
  • Got in trouble – safety, harassment – no strategy.
  • No perceived value.
  • Poorly qualified trainers – they do everything.
  • Why train and invest in short-term employees.
  • Why learn this week – it will change next week.
  • Keep training and development separate rather than integrated.

It was also noted “we’re so busy chopping that we don’t take time to sharpen the ax”.

If you’d like to see a sample of how Susan Otto integrates activities into her training content, check out her website at

Training and Development of your employees is a key factor in remaining competitive in business. Not only does it allow you to keep up technologically with other companies that compete with your services or products, but it also gives you the edge when recruiting or retaining employees. A mentoring program is a great “informal” type of training curriculum. Strategic HR, inc. has experience being mentored, directly providing mentoring to others and developing mentoring programs that can help you provide the best experience for your employees. Visit our Training and Development page to learn how we can assist you with a mentoring program or other types of training and development for your organization.