Editor’s note: John Tschohl is president of Service Quality Institute and author of Empowerment: A Way of Life.

Most of the money and time companies spend on training is wasted. That’s because the majority of companies use outdated training ideas and boring training methods.

Training that is poorly presented goes in one ear and out the other. It’s no wonder employees don’t change their attitudes or behaviors after they attend a badly-presented training session.

After working in the training field for more than 40 years on six continents, I’ve seen a wide range of reasons why group training fails. Here are 12 of the top ones:

1. Large groups. You can’t have a good group discussion if 100 people are in the room. Try to limit training sessions to 15 people so everyone has a chance to participate. If the group size is larger, most employees will not participate and hence will not change their behaviors or learn new skills.

2. A small number of people dominate the conversation. It’s natural in groups for three people to speak up while everyone else stays silent. Facilitators must call on everyone in the room to participate. If people don’t talk, they won’t buy into the training goals.

3. Stupid games. People don’t like role-playing games. Games and exercises have to do with something that builds success as a team. People need to be actively involved in the exercise.

4. Complicated training materials. If the material is not easily understood, it will not be implemented. Make sure the information is clear and direct. Test the material on several small groups. Make adjustments and then roll out the final version to the entire organization.

5. Facilitator overkill. Facilitators should be seen and seldom heard. They should steer the conversation rather than dominate it. They should ask leading questions of the participants and make sure everyone talks at some time. The facilitato...