6 Signs Your Trainees Are Just Plain Bored


Hm? What’s that? Oh, boring training programs. No, no—you must be mistaken. Most companies training might be boring, but my company’s certainly isn’t. Absolutely not. My employees love their work. They are constantly engaged and motivated to learn more. Am I sure? Well, of course I am. Trust me—I’d know if they were bored.

Does any of the above sound familiar? Did we find the voice in your head? Yes? Look—have a seat. Take a deep breath. We’re going to break this to you gently.

Even if you think your employees are riveted by your training program, even if your employees tell you they are riveted by your training program, there’s still a strong chance they’re actually quite bored by it. 

Before you get too upset, know this isn’t your fault. Much of today’s training is inherently boring. For decades, employees from all different industries have suffered a knee jerk reaction to the thought of sitting in training all day. Boredom is what they expect and—unless your company gives them something worth paying attention to—boredom is how they’ll react.

But, aha! All is not lost. See, once you can figure out if and how your employees are bored, then you can take the necessary steps to make your training program more engaging. And luckily, there are several simple boredom cues you can pick up on to know for sure. 

Keep a Look Out: Physical Reactions of Training Boredom

  • Body Language: Notice how your employees are sitting. Are their bodies angled away from the training program, be it a presenter or computer? Are they “listening” with their eyes? Instead, if they’re staring off into space and physically “turning away” with their body, they are likely experiencing boredom.
  • Posture: If your trainees are slouched down or fidgeting instead of sitting up straight, you’ve lost their attention. Fidgeting is a common reaction to boredom. As employees lose composure to their posture, they’re also probably losing interest in your training.
  • Interactions: Depending on the nature of your training, you can tell a lot from how your employees interact. Do they ask questions or interrupt for clarification? If not, they might not be engaged enough to even know what questions they might have. It’s highly unlikely that you will reach the end of a training program with engaged employees and have zero questions asked. If they aren’t asking, chances are they were too bored to bother. 

In the Aftermath: Long-term Signs of Training Boredom

  • Job Performance: The purpose of your training programs is to make your employees better. If they sit through training and their job performance still continues to suffer, they likely weren’t absorbing the necessary information. This is even easier to determine if your training was on a specific aspect of the job, but competency still suffered.
  • Unhappiness: Employees who are confident and knowledgeable in their jobs are also more likely to be happy in their jobs. If your employees seem frustrated and unhappy, then the purpose of your training might not have stuck.
  • Turnover: Is your training program so bad that you’re losing employees over it? While this is an extreme example, if your employees are struggling to engage with the necessary job training and daily performance tasks, they’re more likely to seek other employment.

If you read through this list like a checklist, don’t worry—you aren’t alone. Boring training is something that has plagued companies since long before your time. However, now that you’re educated on the signs of boredom, say it with us: the buck stops here. The time for interesting, informative and engaging training is now.

Ready to get started creating custom training that avoids all six signs of boredom? Contact Expand today!

Will Holland