Training not working? Here's how to fix it.For those working in the franchise space, it’s no doubt training is one of, if not the most important foundations of success. It’s probably the most important type of support headquarters can provide to franchisees.

But what happens when the training program isn’t working? What do we mean by not working? It depends on the definition of success, but generally we’re looking at overall performance. Is the store meeting goals? Is the franchisee following company directives correctly and on time? Are employees following point-of-sale protocols?

Whether you have data telling you something is amiss or simply anecdotal evidence, here are five possible culprits:

  • It’s boring. This seems like such an obvious answer, doesn’t it? So obvious, it can’t possibly be the case! Here’s the thing. It’s a lot easier to make training the audience finds boring. That’s a tough code to crack. We often find, too, what the folks creating the training find boring rarely lines up with what the learners find boring. How to fix it: Collect a lot of feedback. Ask those completing your courses whether they liked it and why or why not.
  • It’s out of date. It’s amazing how quickly this can happen, but it only takes a small piece of misinformation to discredit an entire training program in the minds of the audience members. How to fix it: Easy one! Update it! Make sure you’re gathering the correct information from the right SMEs. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “Well, a few things are a little out of date, but it gets the general idea across.” Employees are usually held to a higher standard; so, too, should the training they are given.
  • It fails to connect with the target audience. Again, ask the audience. If they tell you the training doesn’t apply to them or will help them do their job better, you’re failing to connect. The content might be off, or you’re striking the wrong notes in tone and style. How to fix it: Make sure you deeply understand your audience. Create an audience profile and update training to appeal to their unique interests and needs.
  • It’s too long. We all know how attention spans are these days and how easily we’re distracted. How to fix it: Breaking up training content into small, consumable chunks increases retention and relieves what’s often perceived as a burden.
  • It doesn’t work with the latest technology. Imagine you need to complete a training module, and you try to do so on your tablet. However, neither the training itself or the site where it’s stored are mobile-friendly. It’s clunky and hard to use. Who wants to deal with that? How to fix it: eLearning software and content should be fully responsive to it adapts seamlessly to different screen sizes. It should work the same on all browsers and operating systems. The training team must stay on top of the latest technology and software releases and constantly test and upgrade to ward off downtime or technical issues.

photo credit: Portrait of a watchmaker