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10 signs you’re using check-the box-training

Check-the-box training is a short-sighted approach to corporate compliance, and a poor way to develop talent. All too often, organizations experience the drawbacks of “checking the box” rather than achieving true cultural change. Here are ten signs that you might be using check-the-box training:

1. A Defensive Mindset

Do you view training as an insurance policy against litigation? If your training department is essentially the first step of preparing a legal defense, responsible employees waste company time learning something that doesn’t enhance their value or knowledge base.

2. Underestimating the “Bad Behavior Iceberg”

When calculating the price of bad behavior, you’ve got to consider more than the obvious cost of legal settlements. You need to look below the surface at the true costs of “legal” bad behavior like bullying, unwelcoming conduct, and general rudeness. These often-unaddressed behaviors can cost millions in lost productivity and employee turnover.

3. “Just Get It Over With”

Check-the-box training often relies on static, lecture-based learning, which employees can find tedious. They see training as a burden to be completed before real work can start. However, today’s best training engages employees with content and delivery that improves work performance every day.

4. Content with Compliance

Check-the-box training makes compliance the end goal when it should be the assumed minimum. This low of a bar will not affect company culture.

5. Obsessing Over Online

Many organizations are addicted to the logistical convenience of online training. This preference ignores the proven benefits of live, in-person training. Before long, training managers find themselves going through the motions rather than providing real value to employees.

6. Training Reactively

Companies with a reactive posture tend to pursue check-the-box training. When something goes wrong, the first response is to plug the leak with an off-the-shelf training solution. These organizations seem to languish one step behind the realities of a modern workplace while managing one crisis after another.

7. Focusing on Speed

Technology makes it easy for almost anyone to create and implement online training, which has bloated the marketplace with zippy but substandard providers. Check-the-box training thrives on speed, but ideal solutions are built on thoughtful plans designed for your company. Many firms also try to stuff training into employees’ daily workload. Forced to multitask, employees begin to believe that training content is not a real priority.

8. Focusing on Price

Exceptional training is a business investment. Opting for “value-priced,” check-the-box training does not pay the dividends enjoyed by companies that invest in their employee development.

9. Overlooking Reinforcement

Effective training is reinforced through ongoing reminders and executive participation. Check-the-box training, on the other hand, posts the rules once, like a stop sign, and expects employees to follow them. Check-the-box training also exempts top personnel and removes them from training development and delivery. This disconnect discourages employees from taking the training seriously.

10. Disconnected from Company Values

Off-the-shelf, check-the-box training is disconnected from company values. That is why leading firms provide training that is adapted for their culture. They know that employees put training into practice when there’s a consistent message.

1 Comment
  • Mark Lawler says:

    I was excited to read your, “10 signs you’re using check-the box-training”.
    To read this list, was to relive numerous conversations I have had while advocating for meaningful training vs. “the transfer of liability” approach to training. Here, read this, sign that you have read it. Now you are liable for the content and exercise, while I can demonstrate that you have received this “training”. Thanks. Mark

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