Anthony Onesto Part 1: Training is Broken

Anthony Onesto sat down to have a conversation with Lessonly’s Conner Burt in New York a while back and wanted to rehash a few topics they discussed during a Hangout On Air. This is a portion of their chat, discussing the brokenness of training, but if you’d like to watch their whole conversation, click here.


Talk to us a little bit about your view of training and an HR department – specifically the organizations that you’ve experienced – and spend some time with your overall thinking on how training works today and how that may or may not need to be fixed going forward in really fast-growing organizations.


Sure! It sounds like a lot to talk about, haha.

The top-line tagline of all of this is, you know, training is important. You hear CEOs and owners of companies and startup founders talk about how important training is, right? So, typically training, when things get hard, is the first thing to be cut, so there’s a lot of really top-line discussion about training and what needs to happen.

So, first of all, I think training needs to be almost as big as your marketing budget. In some cases, like companies like Zappos really take training to the next level and make it sort of a marketing-type of initiative. So, at a very top-level again, I think training is absolutely important, I think, and it’s kind of obvious to say that, but you have to say that and when you say training’s important you’ve got to put budget dollars into it.

If we get that all cleared up, right, so the company gets training, it’s instilled in the culture which is very important, and they throw budget towards it, then really what I see is, some the challenges that I see particularly in training is in the execution of it, right?

So, you typically, you have all this budget and it’s almost like being in the civil service budget – if you don’t spend all of it, you don’t get it next year. So, you try to spend all of it, but how effective is that really, in terms of getting an ROI for the business?

I think a lot of companies go about training in the wrong way. I think that first, they don’t put enough budget into it, but I also think in the execution of it, it’s flawed.

And there are good intentions all around. I think companies go in thinking training is important, they do put money into it, but I think a lot of times – and then the training folks are all good, you know these are folks that have a Masters in Organizational Development – all smart people, but I think at the end the day, there is a huge gap in a problem with how things being executed.

Image source: Giphy.

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