Skip main navigation

Factors affecting effectiveness of training

Factors affecting training effectiveness
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

There are many factors that could threaten the effectiveness of training, some of which are detailed below.

Training needs must be identified (Steptoe-Warren 2013). The identification of training needs is the first stage of the training cycle. If this is inaccurate, incomplete and misdiagnosed from the beginning, the rest of the training is ineffective.

Individual differences may also play a part, such as learning styles, cognitive ability and motivation. Participants must be motivated (Tai 2006). Individuals who are not motivated to undertake the training, for whatever reason, will not be committed to the course or take it seriously, therefore wasting time, money and other organisational resources. Debriefs can help people recognise the purpose of training, which can increase their motivation to apply for training and to retain new knowledge.

The training session must allow for active participation. If it does not allow active participation or time and opportunity to practise, the skills being taught may not be developed. An excessive dependence on theory is an ineffective method for learning skills.

Also, if training budgets decrease, employees may start to train themselves in the hope of receiving better job prospects elsewhere.

Another threat is in the failure to provide constructive and prompt feedback to the individual on how they have done in training, any problems that have arisen, how best to practise the skills they have learned and how to retain the skills they have acquired.

Post-training, both the trainer and trainee should continue to develop their skills, knowledge and expertise in order to keep up to date with new developments and current trends within their area. For example, a change in legislation may mean that certain work-based processes need to adapt.

Your task

How do you think motivation affects training effectiveness?


Steptoe-Warren, G. (2013) Occupational Psychology: An Applied Approach. 1st edn. Harlow: Pearson Education [online] available from [5 August 2019]

Tai, W. T. (2006) ‘Effects of Training Framing, General Self-Efficacy and Training Motivation on Trainees’ Training Effectiveness’. Personnel Review [online] 35 (1), 51-65. available from [5 August 2019]

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
This article is from the free online

Training and Development at Work: An Introduction

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education