4 Obstacles L&D Managers Face When Training New Employees

4 Obstacles L&D Managers Face When Training New Employees
Summary: Recent employment trends are creating new challenges for L&D managers. Here are the 4 biggest challenges they face and how to solve them.

4 Training Obstacles And How You Can Tackle Them

Learning and Development is quickly becoming a top priority for HR departments as technology continues to drive changes in the working world. In a recent survey conducted by LinkedIn, it was found that nearly half of talented developers who participated planned to increase their budgets this year [1]. This is mostly due to the recent shift in employment trends. In the 2019 World Economic Forum Report, it was predicted that 54% of all employees will require reskilling or upskilling training within the next 3 years [2].

The Definitive Guide To Onboarding Programs
Learn how you can transform your new employees into successful members of your organization.

Technological advances have not only caused changes in employment trends. They are also influencing the way employees learn, which creates a new set of challenges for Learning and Development managers.

1. Onboarding And Retaining Talent

Once new talent is attracted and hired the real challenge begins. Retaining new hires has become much more difficult in recent years for several factors including:

  • An increase in new industries and jobs because of advancing technology
  • Job hopping has become more prevalent as a younger generation takes over the workforce
  • Technology has made it easier and faster to look for new jobs
  • Alternative income sources such as freelancing and side hustles are becoming more popular
  • The job market has become more competitive

This causes L&D professionals quite a bit of frustration because they often lose new employees before they even complete training of any kind.

What’s The Solution?

Research has shown that onboarding significantly impacts employee retention rates. According to a study by Glassdoor, Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and overall productivity by over 70% [3]. The same study reported that the best onboarding programs provide training with an emphasis on:

  • Fostering new hire socialization
  • Blended learning (a mix of instructor and eLearning)
  • Employee mentoring

Employees who have a positive onboarding experience are more likely to stay with a company for a longer period of time and become productive more quickly which increases ROI.

2. Increasing Employee Engagement

Engaged employees are more likely to stay with a company for a longer time and tend to be more productive. Gallup.com recently reported that companies with highly engaged employees experience a 24% less turnover, a 17% increase in productivity, and have workers that take fewer sick days [4].

What Does This Have To Do With Training?

94% of the employees reported they would stay at a company for longer if they invested in their career, and more than half of the employees reported that they prefer to learn at work [5]. It’s safe to say that employee training plays a huge role in keeping employees engaged at work.

How Do L&D Managers Boost Engagement Through Training?

The most successful employee training programs use blended learning to provide a mix of different training methods to hold learner’s attention. These methods include:

  • Microlearning
  • Simulations
  • eLearning
  • Mobile learning
  • Instructor-Led Training
  • Gamification
  • Social learning

Using multiple kinds of training methods helps keep employees engaged in both their training program and with the company.

3. Training Distributed Teams

Distributed teams are on the rise. Forbes recently reported in an article that 50% of the US workforce will soon be working remotely. This provides many benefits for companies and employees alike but creates new challenges when it comes to employee training. Instructor-Led Training becomes almost impossible and expensive in these kinds of situations

What’s The Solution?

Training managers are getting creative and starting to rely more heavily on digital training tools such as eLearning and mobile learning. These tools empower workers to take training where and when they can. Employers can also track the progress of individuals to make sure they are on track.

To keep learning social training managers also do the following:

  • Create onboarding/welcome video conferences with teammates.
  • Schedule frequent video chats.
  • Schedule hours every week to be available for answering questions.
  • Assign a work mentor or work buddy.

Using digital learning tools and providing employees with ways they can connect with their peers ensures that distributed teams get the same quality training experiences as traditionally placed employees.

4. Making Time For Training

Training is essential to the development of employees. However, the amount of time they actually have to spend on it is limited. On average employees are only able to spend 24 minutes a week on professional development [6]. This is only 1% of their total working hours. This means that every second counts when it comes to training, and the fastest, most effective tools need to be used to maximize the effectiveness.

What’s The Solution?

L&D professionals have been implementing both microlearning and Just-In-Time training techniques to get the most out of training.

Microlearning is when training is delivered in short digestible chunks. If a particular learning module takes only a couple of minutes to complete, the learner is more likely to have the time to complete it. Small modules are also helpful because they are easier for employees to remember.

Just-In-Time training is when learning materials are provided when the employee needs them. This can come in the form of posters they can reference or a mobile site where they can look of information on their phones when they need it. This method provides training in a way that is delivered on the job and can be done without setting aside time for training.


Employment trends are changing the Learning and Development world. Employees are seeking out career development opportunities from their employers more now than they were before. Onboarding has taken on an important role in employee retention. Even though training has become even more important there is still little time for employees to participate in training activities. Many employees now work remotely at least part of the time.

L&D professionals are creating training programs that are highly focused on the following key points in order to overcome these obstacles:

  • Onboarding programs that enhance the employee experience
  • Offering training materials that can be used on the job
  • Using blended learning and digital tools to train a mobile workforce
  • Utilizing social learning methods

Each of these methods helps L&D professionals create more effective training programs that reduce retention, engage learners and boost ROI. Learn how you can transform your new employees into successful members of your organization by downloading the eBook The Definitive Guide To Onboarding Programs.


[1] LinkedIn Learning's 2019 Workplace Learning Report: Key Findings

[2] The Future Of Jobs Report 2018

[3] The True Cost Of A Bad Hire—Research Brief

[4] Five Ways To Improve Employee Engagement Now

[5] 2018 Workplace Learning Report

[6] Bite-Sized Learning

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