Top Training and Development Roadblocks Employers Need to Overcome

by Employers Council Staff

Hiring,  Organizational Development,  Performance Management,  Retention,  Training and Development

Employers know that training and development is a key tool for retaining (and recruiting) talent and making sure their workforce is ready to meet whatever the future holds. That doesn’t mean it’s easy! Organizations who are passionate about innovative learning and development solutions can find themselves stymied by common challenges. Here are seven roadblocks that can keep HR professionals and other business leaders from offering truly transformational training. 

1. Finding time for their own training. 

The work landscape is changing quickly; feeling a little behind the game isn’t uncommon in the HR industry. According to HRDive, a full 73 percent of human resources leaders say they “don’t have the tools and resources needed to do their job well.”1 Prioritizing the HR or training team’s own learning & development is the workplace equivalent of the put-your-own-oxygen-mask-on-first airplane rule. 

Leaders who are constantly upskilling their own abilities can help others understand the business need for ongoing learning — and role models to follow!

2. Understanding generational differences in training needs and styles.

The youngest employees entering your workforce—Gen Z—grew up on the Internet and using social media. They don’t just consume digital content, they create it (and the lines between creation and consumption may be blurred). 59 percent say that YouTube is their favorite way to learn!2 

There are distinctions and overlaps between all generations; both Gen Z and Baby Boomers value face-to-face communication more than Gen Xers and Millennials, for example.3 It’s important for professional educators to know the different generational needs of their workforce and how they impact learning.

3. Diversifying how training is delivered.

Not only do workplaces reflect a great diversity in learning styles, but today’s offices are often hybrid. Learning looks different depending on whether your employees are remote, on-site or a combination of both

For many hybrid employees, their in-person versus online learning preferences might change on a daily basis. Flex schedules also create logistical challenges: the days of expecting everyone to show up to an all-day development session are essentially over. Options are everything, including diversifying training methods, access, topics and styles.

4. Managing an ongoing employee feedback loop. 

All this diversity—and constant change—demands strong communication between learners and the team designing or outsourcing training and development. You can’t know what your employees need if you don’t ask…and then ask again…and again. If you want to enable learning, you have to do your research.

Stay curious: Ask frontline employees what will help them excel, and then keep asking. Design and iterate with agility so their needs are met as your organization and your training opportunities evolve.

5. Creating (or outsourcing) compelling content. 

Expectations for content are sky high, and not only because your youngest employees are extra savvy online storytellers. Employees of all ages have a plethora of attention-demanding content at the ready—on multiple screens. This is the reality of today’s training and development world: There’s always something else to pay attention to. 

This explains the training industry’s recent shift from more administrative Learning Management Systems (LMS) to LXPs: Learning Experience Platforms. LXPs are more immersive, more gamified, and more likely to keep employees’ focus.

6. Fighting the fear that you’ll train too well.

One common but often unspoken challenge employers need to overcome is the worry that they’ll train their workforce right out of their own doors. They can be scared they’ll lose great employees if they give them the skills they need to move on.

In contrast, leaders should focus on the idea of training out to train in. If the organization is providing training that is exclusively focused on their own organization, it is less likely to be engaging. But transferrable training that is applicable in a variety of settings is more compelling. Offering confident, relevant training tells employees you value their development, and that continued investment is a motivator to stay.

7. Moving from a compliance mindset to an engagement mindset. 

From tight labor markets to a cultural emphasis on personal autonomy and freedom, there are many reasons why an authoritarian approach to training and development is out of style. Training efforts are more likely to succeed if they are designed to guide employees along a learning path—infused with plenty of choices along the way—rather than force them to check off must-do boxes. Training leaders become journey masters, not compliance masters. 

HR professionals are tasked with reimagining training and development for the fast-approaching future. Nurturing your organization’s human capital is a difficult but ultimately rewarding process.

Learn more about Employers Council’s training opportunities.



  1. “Survey: Almost all HR pros are burned out — and many are thinking of leaving.” 22 April 2022. Accessed 29 August, 2022.
  2. “Teaching the Next Generation: How Gen Z Learns,” 23 March 2022. Accessed 29 August, 2022.
  3. “The Evolution of Communication Across Generations,” 6 February 2019. Accessed 29 August, 2022.
About the author
Employers Council Staff