Richard Nantel tweeted about Chris Dede talking about Educational Malpractice. Unfortunately, while it does accurately characterize the education space, it is not inappropriate to apply to the workplace as well. I would extend that to Training Malpractice, but I want to take it further. Because organizations are committing crimes at more than just the training level.
Let’s start with formal learning, or training. Remember, our goals are retention over time until the learning is needed, and transfer to all appropriate situations, not just ones that are seen in the learning experience. Now, realize that one of the worst things you can do to lead to long term retention is to try to have all the learning condensed into one session.. Consequently, the ‘massed practice’ of the learning *event* is a broken model! Similarly, the ‘knowledge test’ as a form of assessment has essentially no transfer value to meaningful practice. Yet these are the trusted hallmarks of corporate learning.
But wait, there’s more! Beyond courses, there are performance support resources. Are they organized by need, so that each performer has a unique portal? Well, no. (“Portals? Yeah, we’ve got hundreds of them!”). Every unit has it’s own place to put things for others, and the poor worker has to search high and low to find resources. No wonder they give up. Worse, courses are designed in lieu of any cognizance of the resources.
And while informal learning, as facilitated by search and social networks, may not be actively discouraged, the lack of any cohesive effort to coordinate the network, let alone aligning with resources and formal learning, characterizes the average workplace. Sharing may not be valued or even punished!
The levels above this (systems, strategies) are even more broken. How, when companies supposedly believe that “employees are our most important asset”, can this wholesale malfeasance continue? Please, help right this wrong. If you need help, ask, but don’t continue these mistakes. For your company and your own self-respect.