SeraphCorp Institute

Where Companies Go Wrong with Learning and Development Initiatives

The goal of learning and development (L&D), a systematic organisational process that is a crucial part of talent management strategy, is to enhance the skills and capabilities of employees by coordinating group and individual aspirations with the organization’s overarching vision.

Employees can develop their abilities and excel in current roles with the aid of training and development (L&D). A dynamic workforce is more important than ever due to the worlds transition to a digital economy. Employees responsibilities are continuously changing, and therefore, they must pick up new skills to keep themselves employable.

In order to effectively upskill and reskill the workforce, L&D operations must move beyond just formal training. It should aim at building a culture of continuous learning in which coaching, mentorship, counselling, leadership and ownership play central roles and are encouraged throughout the entire organisation. It should come as no surprise that establishing a robust culture of continuous learning does not happen overnight and calls for substantial adjustments to methods and perspectives.

When done well, L&D can be seen as a desirable extra advantage of working for a company. Employees feel valued and encouraged when employers provide personal development plans and defined career routes. Training programmes can significantly advance interpersonal communication abilities, assist workers in achieving professional goals more quickly, and establish a psychologically secure workplace with adequate planning, execution, and follow-up.

Unfortunately, a lot of L&D programmes do not live up to expectations and generally do not result in long-term improvements in competence, management, or compliance. Unengaging training sessions, inadequate teaching strategies, and leadership’s inability to set a good example are a few of the major contributors to disappointing results.

Where do companies go wrong with their learning and development (L&D) initiatives?

Each company has its own unique system for teaching employees new skills and expanding their understanding of old ones so that they can better carry out their jobs. Companies spend a lot of money on the L&D process in an attempt to cater to every employee’s unique requirements, but the results are often less than satisfactory.

According to a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, 75% of the 1,500 managers from 50 different companies who participated in the study were unhappy with the L&D offerings at their respective companies.

Similarly, a McKinsey study found that only 25% of people thought that training significantly enhanced their performance.

Despite the fact that businesses spend a lot of money on staff training, they do not, unfortunately, do so in an efficient manner. The bulk of training in today’s organisations is not just unproductive; its goal, timing, and content are also flawed.

Here are a few reasons that contribute to a company’s L&D program’s lack of effectiveness:

1) Most companies still follow a one-size-fits-all approach

Knowledge and skills in the business world have a much shorter lifespan now than they used to two decades ago. Employees education and development are now more crucial than ever. Employers need to abandon their cookie-cutter approaches to corporate learning and development (L&D) if they want their staff to adapt swiftly enough to the ways in which RPA and AI are altering their industries.

Since the last decade has brought about huge shifts in how we get things done, how we have fun, how we stay in touch with our friends and family, and so on, it is imperative that businesses adopt individualised/personalised training procedures. Despite the fact that we live in a world where personalization and customization are the norm, very little of this trend has made its way into the method in which firms design training programmes that can assist in educating staff.

It is an unfortunate reality that in many companies the training programmes, which attempt to foster growth and development in their staff members, fail because they adhere to a one-size-fits-all model that does not work for everyone.

The world is currently experiencing the 4th industrial revolution, which means workers must rapidly adapt their skill sets. But the traditional classroom approach to L&D is a roadblock; because it fails to take into account the unique learning objectives and styles of each employee.

In the modern corporate world, personalisation and customisation are extremely important components. Personalisation in the L&D setting allows for the development of a learning path that is tailored to the learner’s specific needs, goals, and interests. By making connections between the learner’s past actions and their future objectives, personalization can increase the learning’s relevance. Developing a personalised learning experience through customised content may also increase employees retention and engagement.

Organizations must understand that a prescriptive training methodology will not address their pressing demands. It is critical that they make the transition from a controlled to an autonomous training framework, from instruction to discovery. They need to empower their employees by giving them a road map to follow as they hone their expertise in a field that truly interests them.

2) Corporate training is often times treated as a one-and-done event

Corporate training is frequently treated by businesses as a one-time activity, with no formal possibility for trainees to receive ongoing support. This not only leads to disengaged workers but also makes it more difficult to instil a belief in the importance of continual learning throughout the company.

Corporate training and development programmes that aim to bring about lasting change should promote an internal culture of learning and encourage employees to always be on the lookout for new ways to improve the organisation.

A learning culture promotes attitudes of intellectual modesty and long-term improvement. They encourage teamwork by arranging cross-departmental education and information-sharing opportunities. All around, this helps employees improve their abilities.

3) Companies focus more on developing hard-skills than human skills of the employees

Providing employees with opportunities to learn the tools they need to do their jobs, such as software training and professional development workshops, is crucial.

Nevertheless, to achieve genuine success over the long run, it is essential to start investing in the growth of the human skills of the employees. A company will have an easier time developing leaders who are able to steer it in the right direction if it places a greater emphasis on the human skills teamwork, communication, feedback, and others required to construct a people-focused workplace.

Training in hard skills is, without a doubt, something that should be available to all employees. However, a significant amount of team work, particularly in hybrid or remote environments, is dependent on human skills.

Because of this, training the entire workforce to communicate and collaborate better, and to be more sympathetic, thoughtful, and inclusive, will ultimately aid the company to achieve overall business growth in the long-run.

4) Flawed learning and development (L&D) content

A common mistake that companies make is the inclusion of a plethora of content in L&D sessions. Training programmes are overloaded and frequently pointless. For example, someone who is naturally gifted in communication may nevertheless be required under the rules to undergo time-consuming communication training. Such an employee gets nothing from the time invested in such training. Such L&D programmes result in uninteresting and disengaged workplaces, which in turn increase churn and are linked to depression and employer anxiety as revealed by Gallup in a 2010 study.

5) Lack of commitment and involvement from executives

L&D will be ineffectual and employees will fall short of expectations without the dedication and engagement of senior executives. Commitment is essential, which translates to resources being allotted to the function of training and development and its unique advantages. Participation encompasses both the physical presence of concerned executives as well as the activities they undertake during the process.

Senior managers can play active roles in a variety of ways, including designing the roadmap of the companys training initiatives as well as leading certain segments of the training programmes. When leaders with a high public profile take on a visible role in the L&D process, it inspires and engages the entire team. This mindset ultimately permeates the entirety of the organisation, which results in a significant improvement.


These five problems may sound familiar. If organisations want to see L&D live up to its potential and produce satisfactory returns on investment, they must address each one of these issues.

Employees who can quickly adjust to new situations are invaluable in today’s dynamic corporate world. As a result, L&D has evolved into an ongoing strategy for improving and advancing employees.

Businesses that invest in developing learning ecosystems set themselves up for long-term success. They are effectively remaking L&D departments from money pits into profit generators for their organisations.

About SeraphCorp

SeraphCorp is a Singapore-based leadership training institute that provides leadership development training, coaching, workshops, and bespoke programmes. Were a boutique consulting firm specialising in leadership, and we work with leaders and managers across industries and sectors.

For SeraphCorp, leadership development is a mission we have embraced since our founding. Day in and day out, we work hand in hand with our clients to boost their human potential and organisational performance through a three-prong approach of consulting, training, and coaching and counselling.

As a firm and as a faculty, SeraphCorp is committed to facilitating your leadership learning. At the end of the day, our purpose is to equip leaders so that they can make a positive impact on their communities, their companies, and their families, and to strengthen the ecosystem of quality leadership training in Singapore.

Our clients include leaders and managers from diverse sectors and industries, while the companies we work with span the spectrum from SMEs to global corporations. Our faculty is recruited from diverse fields & industries and have previously been CEO, CFO, general manager, founders of companies, head banker and director.

Book an obligation-free consultation with one of our learning advocates today to find out more about our programmes.

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