ATD Blog

Top 5 Challenges That Disable Trainer Success

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The challenges training professionals face at work are akin to a pilot flying in the dark without air traffic control. Many organizations do not have processes in place to ensure the transfer of training back on the job. Is there any wonder why, according to a study by Jack Phillips, 20 percent of CEOS indicated they invest only the minimum necessary and another 4 percent try to avoid learning investments altogether? 

I’m on a mission to eliminate what appears to be an epic waste of time, money, and resources, so I went to the source to find out what is getting in the way of trainer success. What I uncovered is shocking, widespread, and downright disabling to a trainer’s success. Here are the top five challenges trainers face at work, and how they’re addressed by ATD’s Training Certificate Program

Lack of Communication From Clients and Stakeholders

Are you having a hard time getting clear communication from managers? Do they describe success in vague and sometimes confusing terms? Is the pace of decision making slow to nonexistent? These issues are sadly very common, so how can you effectively address them?

How the Training Certificate Program Can Address This Challenge: Questions set priorities. By understanding this fundamental principle of communication, you can help time-constrained stakeholders by asking the right types of questions. The course provides two excellent resources: the Is Training the Right Solution? chart and six categories of questions for conducting an effective needs assessment.

Inability to Conduct an Effective Needs Assessment

Speaking of needs assessments, the overwhelming majority of trainers say they are not afforded time to conduct a needs assessment. One participant summarized it this way: “We’re constantly putting out fires and putting on Band-Aids instead of finding root causes.” 


How the Training Certificate Program Can Address This Challenge: In addition to covering analysis basics, the course briefly reviews the most common types of data collection methods used in the assessment process. 

Not Aligning Training to Organizational Goals

A common refrain I hear is, “We’re told to just train.” We all know training is highly valued when it leads to improved performance back on the job. The problem is, rarely do training professionals ask their clients which metrics they are trying to affect. 

How the Training Certificate Program Can Address This Challenge: Attendees are taught how to write measurable learning objectives; objectives that, when achieved, align directly to and positively affect organizational goals. 


Lack of Client or Stakeholder Buy-In

Lack of buy-in and participation are signs that our clients and stakeholders don’t see any value in training; to them, they view training as a cost as opposed to an investment. This is not an uncommon position given the intense need to produce immediate value. 

How the Training Certificate Program Can Address This Challenge: The huge benefit of this course lies in the social learning that occurs. Along with the facilitator, participants share their experiences and best practices for getting buy-in. Module 5 (evaluation and performance) starts with a review of the Transfer of Training matrix followed by a great discussion on evaluating training. These enable participants to develop strategies that are tailored to their specific situation and organization. 

Managing Change

Trainers are continuously fighting the speed of change: changing requirements, changing deadlines, and changing policies, processes, and procedures. But change is here to stay. The best way to manage it is to utilize systems and work flows that can isolate the negative effects of change. 

How the Training Certificate Program Can Address This Challenge: The course contains a smorgasbord of tools, templates, and checklists for creating a comprehensive training ecosystem in which change can be effectively managed. 

By using the tools provided in the ATD Training Certificate course, you can effectively address these challenges to enhance your training program’s value and credibility while simultaneously creating a better job experience for your most valuable asset—your training professionals.

About the Author

Sardek P. Love is president and founder of Infinity Consulting and Training Solutions, a global management and leadership development consulting firm. Possessing over 26 years of expertise, he has worked in 32 countries, inspiring, developing, and educating thousands of managers and their employees to consistently deliver exceptional results.

Known globally for his energetic and thought-provoking style of delivery, Sardek teamed up with Anne Bruce to co-author the updated version of Anne’s best-selling book “Speak For A Living – The New and Expanded Edition” which will be published by ATD in 2018.

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