Is employee training a significant investment? Undoubtedly, yes. Organizations spend an average of $1,208 to $1,888 per employee on training. With such a large investment, you would think that optimum learning and employee performance would be of the utmost importance. However, according to recent surveys, 43 percent of employees find their training programs ineffective, while only 25 percent of employers notice performance improvement in their workforce following completion of a training program.

Why is there such a gap between employee training and performance enhancement? Many organizations still use a traditional classroom approach, which often lacks engagement, flexibility and individual options for employees. Here’s where classroom training programs fall short and how employers can improve training to maximize productivity for their business.

Lectures Lack Engagement.

Traditional classroom lectures often lead to a lack of engagement and limit participants’ excitement to learn. One out of three employees says that “uninspiring content” is a barrier to his or her learning. In order to optimize the learning experience and ensure skills retention, organizations need to implement a more interactive style.

Interactive training consists of hands-on learning experiences that are not only engaging but also realistic. When employees can practice the tasks they’ll perform on a daily basis, the learning experience becomes much more rewarding. Interactive activities include anything from role-playing exercises to group brainstorms on how to handle difficult situations.

Virtual Options Provide Flexibility.

Between work, family and attempting to have a social life, most people are constantly on the go. This lifestyle makes attending mandatory training sessions even more frustrating. Classroom training is often rigid, with set class times and no other available options. However, with the world advancing its virtual landscape, there’s no reason why training programs shouldn’t be more accessible and flexible. Augmented reality, microlearning, adaptive learning and online courses are all options that employees can access at anytime, anywhere.

Workforces Are Multigenerational.

Having a multigenerational workforce is often seen as a competitive advantage. Generational diversity allows for more unique perspectives and skills to be shared throughout your workforce. However, it can cause challenges with employee training. Currently, there are five different generations in the workforce that all have different learning preferences. For example, millennials communicate through the use of technology such as cell phones and computers. On the other hand, baby boomers often are more comfortable with traditional tools. In order to maximize training efforts, employers should be aware of these differences and provide options that suit all generations. Offering a mixture of visual, auditory and tactile training is one way to satisfy diverse age groups.

Employee training is vital to the success of a business. A comprehensive training program produces prepared, skilled employees. In order to ensure this success, training should be engaging and realistic, offer virtual learning options, and cater to the entire workforce. If these criteria are met, you’ll find yourself with a highly productive organization.