I found it interesting to read in a Forbes Article that most people see learning and development opportunities as more important to them than attractive salaries, job security and even their job being interesting. So, it is vital that time, effort and ultimately money, are spent on training for your employees.
Providing training and development opportunities has always been very important in ensuring your work force remains effective and you harness the talent you have. Though there are many ways to deliver learning in today’s connected world, the classics never die. Face to face training is still considered to be one of the most effective learning tools.
In my years of delivering Microsoft training courses onsite I have seen first-hand the benefits of showing up to a company’s office to deliver a training course.
The Following List Are Some of the Main Advantages of Having An Onsite Trainer:
More Control and Focus on your objectives
On-site training is focused on your company’s objectives and is closed to anyone outside your own staff. This helps to keep the focus by allowing the training to only handle the topics your company and employees need to cover. With off-site courses, where people from several different companies attend, with different agendas, can ultimately result in some people walking away disappointed.
When delivering a class on site, the instructor can be very flexible to your needs for the session. On occasion I have changed the agenda mid-point to make it more relevant to the attendees. This cannot happen with off course training.
Because your staff is in their own environment, they tend to feel much more comfortable and confidant and open to asking questions during the session – which leads to a much more successful training event.
Decreased down time
When courses are held off site, attendees may have to travel. This can result to expensive hotel stays and travel expenses. On-site training eliminates this. Attendees are in their own office and this provides them with minimal down time and zero travel expenses for your business.
Empower your staff
Simply getting a group from the same company in to one room can help people get to know each other. I have often witnessed people who work in the same building meet each other for the first time during a course. Here people are in a relaxed environment and already open to new ideas. They are much more likely to open themselves up to new people and to find ways to help each other and work together – all resulting in a benefit for the business owner.
Onsite training is far cheaper in the long run because it is more likely to satisfy the aims of the company. Course providers can offer courses less expensive because economies of scale are involved. In other words, for them to train at your facility is much less expensive than to have to market and train several different people at several different places. This savings gets passed on to you and your business.
How does on-site training work?
My experience of delivering on site is mainly in the form of Microsoft Excel courses and I have found the following are the most effective methods in the tool box.
- Classroom based courses are usually delivered to a group of 8 people in a board or meeting room. This is suitable for a group of people who all require the same topics to be delivered.
- One to one sessions are used when a group training course cannot be specific enough or the person requires more personal attention for either confidence building or to learn a more advanced subject in a targeted way.
- Floor Walking involves the trainer to be available in the office to answer ad hoc questions during the course of a normal day. This training consultancy option isn’t done as often as the other two methods, but can be effective due to it being very targeted and relevant to the person being helped.
So how do you get the most from onsite training?
- If you have specific needs talk to the people who will be delivering the course. You are buying an onsite course so to get the best from the sessions you should get a feel for what the trainer is like and tell them what you would like to achieve. Usually an experienced trainer will have ideas to help you get the most from any sessions.
- Schedule the training to fit around good times for employees. There is nothing worse than having to do a course during a busy time such as month end. The attendees will be far more relaxed if a quieter time is chosen. Also if your working day is not 9-5 see if the trainer can work to your shift patterns.
- Do not force people to attend training. This can make attendees feel rebellious and they do not take advantage of the day. If you let it be a choice for your staff, usually word of mouth, it is better. I have delivered many Excel training courses where I have started with 4 people and ended with 8 due to my attendees spreading the word. Your staff will more than likely see the training as a reward if you let them choose it for themselves.
- Collect feedback from your staff after the course. This is really important for two reasons:
- You can assess whether the training was a success. You can use any points gathered to let the trainer improve for any future sessions.
- Your staff will see you are interested in their opinion and they will feel they make a difference which is always a good thing!
There is no doubt that on-site training can be of great value to both your employees and your business. Though there are other methods of learning, when it comes to keeping your employees happy, productive and feeling motivated, face to face training wins hands down.
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