Any company looking to improve productivity in their work force will be well versed in the effectiveness of training, whether in boosting knowledge, skills or morale or simply as an employee engagement tool.
But once the decision to temporarily take employees them out of their operational roles for training has been made, the next question is how to maximise the effectiveness and of that time to get the greatest return on investment. With profit margins ever tighter, there is always pressure to keep costs to the minimum.
The seemingly obvious answer, if space allows, is to run training courses and development onsite, especially if the company has already invested in bringing external trainers. That way staff can pick up messages, or be at hand if an urgent situation occurs, there are no travel implications to consider and of course additional costs are minimised.
Costs aren’t always financial though and in doing staying on site there are almost certainly lost opportunities.
Consider, then, the delegate who finds themselves on a training course in an off-site location. Firstly there is the excitement of the change of routine. The location does not have to be far away, merely different.
There are other benefits too. A change of scenery automatically creates a change in awareness as well as signifying the importance placed on the training event, and therefore that of the delegate to the company. After all, why would be company spend the money on taking them to a different venue if the subject matter, and they, weren’t important?
Lastly, picking up messages and nipping back to your desk effectively provides a distraction to the main purpose of the day, the training or development session itself. The reminder from the finance department about the change in invoicing practice is undoubtedly important, but is it urgent? With most good venues providing good Wi-Fi and phone coverage, any desperate emergencies can be dealt with if needed, but the day to day stuff can be left postponed. The extra focus can then be put into maximising the impact of the training day, which then maximises the return of investment of the session itself.
It would be foolish to suggest that off site is the best location for all training. It comes back to the same argument of whether you should do something, just because you can.
So what is your training day really costing you?