We went through short stretch a few years ago where the number of mandatory yearly training classes was dramatically reduced. I can see from looking at my personal “mandatory training” tab today that things are swinging back in the other direction.
Sitting through these sessions online is marginally better than physically cramming 750 people into an auditorium, but only just. Maybe my outlook would be different if the basic content changed from year to year, but as it is, by the time I hang it up, I’ll have sat through 32+ iterations of threat awareness, substance abuse, anti-harassment, and cybersecurity training among others. The names of these sessions might be different, but otherwise not much else has changed with them in the last 18 years. It’s hard to imagine inertia will drive much change in the next 14.
All told, it’s probably 20 hours a year which could be just as effectively covered by taking 10 minutes and telling us not to use drugs, not to sell secrets, knock it off with the sexual harassment, etc. I suppose there are entire offices that would cease to exist if people could be collectively relied on to simply follow directions, though. Whole bureaucratic empires would cease to exist and we obviously can’t have that.
We could just drop the hammer on people who routinely screw up… but it’s easier to swamp the guilty and innocent alike with wave after wave of “training” if only to avoid the inevitably awkward conversation with people who just can’t seem to get it right. The endless hours of training, it seems, isn’t the only thing that’s unchanging an immutable.