The Purpose of Training Events
Most companies take the training and development of their staff seriously, because the return on their investment can be many times the initial cost.
Skills cost money, whether you pay more to hire someone who already possesses them, or you take the time to improve your existing workers – so why not value those who already work for you?
The Benefits of Training
The list of benefits from investing in training is both long and desirable. Whether the outcome is to benefit the company or act as a company benefit for employees, all are worthwhile in their effect.
- Performance – The most obvious benefit and usually a prime reason for any training is improving the existing skills of individuals resulting in a higher level of performance.
- Versatility – Diversifying the knowledge of the trainee enables them to handle a wider variety of tasks, making each employee more valuable to the company.
- Productivity – By increasingly ability you also increase efficiency, enabling employees to handle a greater capacity of work thus making the entire workforce more productive.
- Profitability – Becoming quicker at tasks and improving their quality increases profitability and provides your customers with more value.
- Motivation – Valued employees are naturally more motivated. Investing in your workforce and their future will see an improvement in their morale and attitude and in some cases can reduce staff turnover.
- Reputation – By being known as a company that invests in training, you also foster a reputation for having highly skilled and professional employees.
- Customer/Client Satisfaction – Skilled employees better serve their clients and customers, leading to increased satisfaction and more positive referrals.
- Recruitment – Reduce staff turnover by keeping your best employees happy – and increase the numbers of those wanting to work for a company that invests in its workforce.
Types of Training
The ways in which you can train your workforce has diversified greatly over the years. While traditional class room type training activities are still the most common, newer methods are gaining a greater foot hold.
The type of training you choose will greatly depend on the training topic itself, the size of your workforce and how best your workforce learn. Here are some examples of the types of training you could consider.
Classroom Based Training
Training methods typically used in and by traditional learning environments, but are equally useful and applicable anywhere.
Films and Videos
Depending on the complexity and length of the training it covers, videos can be used as a stand-alone method of delivery or as a part of a wider array of training media.
They work well at demonstrating complex ideas or images and work best if used to prompt and encourage discussion over the subjects covered.
Many trainers use film to break long stretches of similar types of training and maintain interest.
They do have some drawbacks; a lack of interaction from trainees while the video is playing, and a possible lack of relevancy if relying on generic or external video content being among them. Production quality must also be ensured.
The most traditional form of training. Having someone versed in the subject teach and explain to a group is a time-tested method, although somewhat limited in its scope and appeal.
Well suited to imparting large volumes of information to any number of people, they lack in many other areas and are very much a quantity over quality option.
Lack of engagement and interaction with trainees, loss of attention during lengthy lectures, and a lack of information absorption are the most common criticisms.
Group Discussions and Tutorials
Better suited to smaller groups than lectures, they have the advantages of being able to accommodate discussion and feedback on the topics discussed as they’re discussed.
This has the added benefit of informing the training as it occurs, allowing it to be modified and tailored to developments within the learning dynamic.
New topics can be added as the group expresses a need or interest in specific areas, and others downplayed if deemed not necessary.
This all works to create a far more engaging and thought-provoking learning environment than simply sitting and listening.
The marmite of training methods. Acting out role plays, particularly in front of others, divides opinion in trainees. Those who don’t like the idea of performing in front of others will no doubt find the exercises uncomfortable.
They can however be useful in demonstrating how situations and conversations can develop and be controlled - providing a way to practise before facing the real thing.
On the Job training
Training on the job is a popular method of learning for many people and employers. It has shown itself to be very effective and often the most effective.
It is particularly effective at motivating people into physically doing the job, although those lacking confidence may find it not to their liking.
On the job training encompasses any form of learning conducted within the working environment, including the reading of manuals, accessing company intranets, and being taught by instructors.
Typically used as a later stage method for those who have already received a level of training, or have demonstrated their suitability for expanding their knowledge further.
Coaching and mentoring provide highly focussed and personal training, through which students can access information that may never have been made available in a group environment.
Technology Based Learning
Covering a wide range of applications including interactive videos, online training programs, and interactive multimedia.
Technology based learning has improved upon more basic methods such as video by making its offerings interactive, hugely improving engagement and absorption. Trainees also benefit from being able to do things in their own time under less pressure.
Somewhat rarer and used for more specialist tasks that are either difficult to reproduce, or dangerous to do so. Flight simulators are a prime example of where the nature of the task is too dangerous to risk on someone not properly qualified.
Simulators are excellent at recreating real working situations and experiences, and prepare trainees for what they can expect when doing it for real.
Involving any training method that incorporates some form of game while simultaneously providing relevant experience or knowledge.
These could be similar to technology-based learning methods with an added fun element, or simply making games of normal working tasks.
Learning while playing is always a popular method of teaching and is useful as long as a suitable enough game be formed around something relevant and worthwhile.
Primarily focused around team building, the change in environment is a tool used to move trainees out of their comfort zone and expose them to new situations that force them to alter their typical behaviour.
Naturally some people are more likely to enjoy and actively participate in such activities than others, so tailoring the activity to the group is important.
However, the benefits are worth the effort and as these activities are excellent at encouraging individuals to form stronger bonds and work together - not in spite of each other.
With such a vast array of training options available it is important to match the type to the aims of the training, and to those who are receiving it. This should inform which training you choose, not the other way around.
With the array of benefits that can be achieved and numerous methods to achieve them, you want to ensure your training event is implemented properly to fully achieve your aims as the number of considerations and requirements are numerous.
Dedicated venues can be of great value as they have a wealth of experience in holding such events and can guide and assist you.
If new to hosting training events, it’s recommended you opt for a dedicated venue for this reason, gaining experience and knowledge of everything that goes into it. You are then better equipped to decide how you want them to be conducted in future.
Some considerations to consider when trying to make your event as productive as possible:
Access – How easy is it reach and navigate?
Equipment – Check what you need is available
Space – Versatile space is a big advantage
Seating – Reconfiguring the seating arrangement between periods could be necessary.
Air Conditioning – Don’t ignore how the temperature can affect your attendees.
Lighting – Whether natural or artificial, adequate light is important.
Acoustics – Ensure your voice is heard.
Sustenance – Your audience will expect refreshments.
Overview and Summary – Outline what you’ll cover and summarise to reinforce the message
Interaction – Improvement audience engagement and absorption by interacting with them
Duration – Keep to the schedule, for both your benefit and theirs
Humour – A little comic relief keeps it interesting and memorable.
Visual Aids – If using them, ensure they are working properly – be prepared.
Versatility – Expand on what’s working and change what isn’t, keep evolving your methods.
For more information on the importance of training and why you can never receive enough please take a look at this blog.
With a better understanding of the importance of training and the positive effect it can have on a business, investing in it should be a matter when, not if.
There so many options available that there will be a method to suit any business and its employees. If you would like to know more about Lane End Conferences’ facilities or think we might be able to help your organisation with hosting a training event, please get in touch or call us on 01494 881 171.