‘One size, fits all’ approach to training is wasteful and ineffective

TRUMBULL, CT — July 9, 2020 — Employers are wasting $97 billion on ineffective training[1].  Despite the budgets behind them, too many learning and development programs are failing to boost performance and raise productivity.  Questionmark, the online assessment provider, is calling on employers to ‘transform training’ by ensuring it is relevant to what they need their people to do.

Across the world, $130 billion is spent on learning and development programs.  Research shows that only 25% of it is judged to be effective.  The waste is attributed to a range of factors including the quality of delivery and uninspiring content[2]

It is also likely that many staff are being trained to develop skills they already possess.  Other training may be on areas that are not critical to performance. However, simply asking employees what skills they require is unlikely to be the solution.  Further research suggests that people are ‘unconsciously incompetent’ in anything from 20% to 40% of areas critical to their role[3].  They may not realize that they do not know how to perform crucial parts of their job.

The answer lies in conducting skills tests and assessments of the workforce.  These can give employers the fair, valid and reliable information they need to make good decisions about their people, and transform the impact of training.

  • Assessments can reveal missing skills and gaps across teams and business functions.  Training can then be tailored to its audience. 
  • Testing eliminates the need to train employees in areas where they are already proficient, saving both time and money.
  • When an employee knows they will be tested, training is typically more effective.  Studies show that if people are called upon to reconstruct what they have learned, they are more likely to remember it[4].
  • Testing participants post-training also measures the effectiveness of the program or course.  Ineffective programs can then be discontinued or revamped and the quality of training can be constantly improved.

Lars Pedersen, CEO, Questionmark said, “In a world where the business environment is constantly shifting, effective learning and development programs have never been more needed.  By testing the workforce, employers can ensure their investment is paying off.  Assessments can reveal priorities, eliminate wasted training and ensure that the relevant skills are developed.”


[1] https://trainlikeachampion.blog/infographic-why-corporate-training-is-a-colossal-waste-and-what-to-do-about-it/

[2] https://trainlikeachampion.blog/infographic-why-corporate-training-is-a-colossal-waste-and-what-to-do-about-it/

[3] https://hbr.org/2017/09/how-to-teach-employees-skills-they-dont-know-they-lack

[4] https://www.questionmark.com/ten-benefits-of-quizzes-and-tests-in-educational-practice/?lang=en_GB