Top 10 Ways to Torture Employees when Delivering Employee Training

Frustrated Student - sxc - catalin82


Just in case you need some fresh ideas of ways to torture employees while they are learners in a training session, here are a few gems that will be sure to have adult learners screaming.


  1. Be a talking head for hours. Stand up in front of a group and lecture at them for 2 or more hours.  Do not, I repeat, do not give them individual or group activities.  They want to hear you talk.
  2. Ramble off topic repeatedly.  Tell them about your nephew’s new gold fish with the white spot in the shape of Elvis or about a movie you saw on the weekend.  Better yet, describe in great detail how you gave birth or experienced a root canal or boil lancing.
  3. Introduce content that was not in the course or workshop description.  Better still, ignore the description all together and surprise them with something completely different!
  4. Put them on the spot.  This is best done with the most introverted of participants.  After giving a lecture of incredibly complex material, ask the participant to explain what they just heard to the class in 30 words or less.  Oh, and ask them to come to the front of the room and role play a situation with you too.
  5. Insult participants.  If they talk in optimistic ways, call them a Pollyanna.  If they refer to someone by race, call them a racist.  If they say the wrong answer, tell them they are stupid.
  6. Give ‘em lots and lots of information.  Pack a doctoral thesis defense into 30 minutes or less.  Then give them a 4” binder full of additional reading and a quiz on it tomorrow.
  7. Don’t give them adequate breaks.  Give participants five minutes to use the bathroom when there is one bathroom for 30 or more participants.
  8. Feed them crap.  Give them dry sandwiches, cold soup and limp salad.  Give them coffee with powered creamer.  Order just enough food so that you’ll run out of drinks or food before everyone has had a first helping.  Do not, I repeat, do not ask them if they have allergies or dietary restrictions.
  9. Make ‘em sweat or freeze.  Turn the air conditioning on full blast on a cold day or not on during a heat wave.  Heat is over-rated on cold days too. They’ll pay attention more if they are cold.
  10. Pack ‘em in like sardines.  Don’t give them space to move around or store their coats, bags and other accouterments.

If you think I am suggesting that you actually do any of the above, no. Please understand that this was written (with my tongue in my cheek) as exaggerated examples of what not to do when delivering training and perhaps evoke a smile or giggle.  Let’s help employees learn, not torture them.  They’ll like us more.

Copyright © 2013 Joni Rose of Career Minded Consulting Services. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized use will constitute an infringement of copyright. Please contact Joni Rose for reprint permission. 

Do you have other suggestions of ways to torture employee learners? Do tell in the comment section below!

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