At this stage of the game, most retailers understand the need to invest in employee training if they are going to be successful (or even just survive!).  Yet many have also carried the expense of programs that simply did not produce the results they were looking for.  So before we make any training solution recommendations  to our clients, we’re often asked “Why didn’t my last training program work?”

After over two decades in the retail education and development business, we’ve seen a wide range of reasons why training fails.  Here are some of the key causes:

  • The training program was just a ‘flavour of the month’ project that quickly lost management’s attention and support.
  • Training was initiated with the front line before middle and senior management understood and approved of the program.
  • The staff didn’t buy into the training because they were never sold on its importance or effectiveness.
  • The program was launched without a well-planned reinforcement strategy.  To improve behaviour and performance, staff training must be continued each and every day of the year.
  • There was no accountability for using the new skills or knowledge presented in the program, so the staff knew they didn’t have to incorporate them into their regular activities.
  • The training program wasn’t integrated into daily store operations, so it quickly became just another ‘to do’ item that got lost somewhere on the list.
  • The content wasn’t relevant, realistic or practical.

What about your training program?  Is it up to snuff?  Is it producing the results that it should?  Why not?  What are you going to do about it?

We’re in the business of driving better performance in your stores.  If you’re interested in a candid, no-cost review of your training programs, give us a call at 905-842-1275 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mary Gordon and Kim McCutcheon have been supporting retail front lines for as long as they can remember. A dynamic duo, Mary and Kim understand what it takes to make training work at store level and know how to inspire, coach and support retail teams in all of their training endeavours.

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