Disadvantages of the traditional approach to learning

Main limitations of traditional learning approach in corporate environment

One of the key requirements for corporate training today is that it should prepare employees to work in the future on tasks that can’t be clearly predicted. On other words, corporate training should focus less on knowledge and skills people already have, but more on what would make them succeed in their new roles. This challenge highlights the limitations of traditional methods and approaches in corporate training. The corporate training today is:

  • cognitively oppressive,
  • elitist,
  • unsystematic,
  • impractical,
  • unconnected,
  • reactive,
  • short term.

Cognitively oppressive

In many companies, learning and development is embedded into performance appraisal process and employees consider learning as something required by their bosses, not by them. Traditional approach implies that somebody is responsible for the development of an employee, not employee herself. People learn faster and more effective if they feel own responsibility for the development process. Ideally, employees should work on their own development plan. To do so, they must understand what knowledge and skills their organization expect them to develop and to understand how corporate training can help them personally.


Research shows that company’s success depends more on first-line and middle managers. Today’s organizations become flatter and more people need to communicate and organize others. As a consequence, managerial skills are required not only for managers, but for many other categories pf employees. Yet, many companies often have structured program of leadership development for chosen group of high potential employees or/and for top managers. Other employees have access to corporate library of e-learning courses of varying quality and for corporate training programs. Most employees find this form of training not very useful – training events are chaotic and not inked to any form of development programme.


As one of the L&D managers in a Fortune 500 company said, "we have more than 1000 courses in our LMS and they are 70% duplicate. This situation is typical – in many companies, effectiveness of learning is measured in "course-hours" – the more people spend time in the learning management system the better. There is huge amount of duplicated content in most learning management systems and there is no clear system of priorities in learning development process. HR professionals and employees don’t know which knowledge, competencies and skills they should develop first.

Not practical

Learning programmes can be very demanding, but many of them don't have too many links to what employees do every day. Daily routine prevents learners to apply what was learned.

Not supported

Learning programmes for employees usually don’t involve their direct managers or peers to post-training process. The employee gets her training and then tries to apply what was learned in her day-to-day activities by reflecting on it. This approach discourages participation of others and an employee faces resistance, not support when she tries to organize work differently.


People lack knowledge and skills they need to be productive and it negatively impacts performance. Managers react by planning the development of their direct reports and assigning relevant training – but it takes time.


In most cases, organizational learning is one-off event, not continuous process. Training programs often present new knowledge, skills and behaviours, but don’t provide tools for support application.

How to make leadership development less cognitively oppressive

Corporate training initiatives fail, because employees don’t feel they are in charge of their development process. And they don’t know what to do to be in charge. SNAPSIM™, offers individualized learning experience to every user and increase motivation for learning and development. It helps the learner:

  • define gaps in knowledge and skills of a user and required activities to develop them,
  • understand learners needs,
  • set priorities in learning,
  • set end and interim business goals,
  • get instantly updated detailed business plans,
  • track progress,
  • perform self-assessment of application of gained knowledge and skills,
  • smart reminders and share success.

The user starts with an entry assessment and gets results immediately. Her assessment report is presented in a clear and visual way to allow the user see gaps in her competencies, knowledge and skills. She also presented with a profile of an "ideal" manager, who is 100% match for what company wants. The user develops her own development plan by choosing learning goals. The system offers individualized learning activities. The user can also perform self-assessment on how gained knowledge and skills are applied on the job. It helps to understand, how what was learned improves the user’s performance and makes more valuable for the organization.

How to overcome elitist approach in leadership development

With SNAPSIM™ system your company can eliminate elitist approach to training and development. In today’s knowledge economy almost all categories of knowledge workers need leadership skills and SNAPSIM™ offers affordable and effective way to develop them to make your company more successful. Based on best business practice and leading occupational standards, our system includes everything people need to reach their peak performance as managers. Not only they will gain theoretical knowledge on management science, they will also practice new skills in safe environment. SNAPSIM™ uses focused approach in developing managerial competencies. All learning content is divided into four levels of management and six zones of leadership. This approach helps to finetune learning experiences according to the needs of users in various positions in organization.

How to make leadership development systematic

Every programme of focussed development of competencies should have criteria of effectiveness. Competencies that can be measured and improved, make good match for it, as research shows, that improved competencies make employees more productive. Managerial and workforce competencies differ from company to company. Often, traditional programme, even customized, don’t take into account focused competencies the company itself considers as very important.It happens, because competencies are considered too broad and there is no blueprint that can be used as an example. Before designing training programme, HR manager should ideally know "the ideal" profile of competencies for every category of managers. This picture should give a clear understanding of ideal managers profile and how to bring employees in training to this profile.

How to make leadership development practical

Leadership development is more practical, when learning materials are specially designed to be relevant for daily activities of a manager and when training program has tools that allow to evaluate how what was learned is applied on the job of the learner. We believe that learning material used for corporate training should be:

  • designed as step by step easy-to-follow tutorials,
  • clear and concise, written in a plain language,
  • divided into "snaps" - small chunks of information that allow to gain knowledge and practice skills in small digestible pieces,
  • embedded best practices based on latest on how people learn and use memory,
  • have clear categories and ranks,
  • include infographics and visuals for better learning experience and practical documents.

In SNAPSIM™ content in all functional zones is prepared according to these principles.

Also SNAPSIM™ has embedded tools for post-training control.

How to make learning more individualised

Modern learning systems should allow to finetune learning experiences for each employee. To make learning really individualised, the learning system should be able to automatically present optimised learning paths based on identified gaps between actual and required knowledge levels, set learning trajectories with optimal learning loads for all learning periods, calculate and present daily learning assignments based on individualised learning path, chosen learning pace and amount of learning material.

How to overcome reactive approach in corporate leadership development

SNAPSIM™ offers proactive approach to developing managerial competencies. SNAPSIM™ defines profile of an "ideal" manager, offers individualized learning path for each user and provides detailed analytics on each user competencies development.

How to make leadership development relevant

SNAPSIM™ system presents learning material in the form of short, digestible units of information linked to stringent grid of professional standards. This approach helps to avoid two main traps of current e-leaning solutions: unfocused and entertaining approach of microlearning and heavy, boring structure of traditional e-learning. SNAPSIM offers to learn anytime, anyplace in short (10-15 min) sessions and provides consistent and engaging learning experience on 4 levels – from team leader up to top-management. For every employee, development becomes a continuous process, ingrained into daily routines and linked to their managerial activities. Learning programme is also designed to reinforce and practice acquired knowledge, skills and behaviours in safe environment to make learning stick.

Learning impact

Когда HR профессионалы говорят о необходимости проведения организационного обучения, они в качестве примера любят приводить известный диалог между CFO и CEO: — Что будет, если мы их обучим, и они

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