To train or not to train – that is the question

To train or not to train

There is a misconception that training will fix all ills – training is the panacea for everything.  As a long term experienced teacher, trainer and facilitator, I have learnt that training is a very powerful tool when used wisely and appropriately, but it is not the only answer and depending on the circumstances that have arisen it might not be the best approach.  Sometimes a combination of training and other activities such as buddying, mentoring and coaching could reap far greater success.

For training to be successfully implemented, it is important that position descriptions, policy statements, workplace instructions, processes and procedures, delegations and responsibilities and performance standards are in place, implemented and monitored as this sets the benchmark for what should be achieved throughout the organisation.  Training can be seen as a remedy or more appropriately to help achieve continuous improvement and improved standards, and, of course to introduce new innovations, improvements, products and services into the organisation.

If you are thinking of undertaking training activities in your organisation, here is a quick checklist/worksheet which will help you in your planning:

  • What objectives would you like achieved?
  • Who needs to be trained?
  • How many people? Can they be released at the same time, or in shifts – what maximum number for broken arrangements?
  • What sort of work do they do? E.g. sales, installation, quoting, field, tradesperson
  • Topic Areas e.g. customer service, sales skills, Workplace Health and Safety; administration, systems and processes, trades skills
  • Accredited or Non accredited training – (i.e. a formal qualification or not)?
  • Timeframe – When to be completed by?
  • Duration of training expected – e.g. 1 day – a series of short segments over several weeks e.g. 3 hour session on a set day over 6 weeks – what delivery method would best suit? Face to face, on line, a combination, would workbooks, power point presentations be needed?
  • Venue: At the workplace, or elsewhere (potentially additional cost)
  • Training times: – before work, during work hours (am or PM); after work hours?
  • What outcomes to you expect from the training?  Will assessment of competencies be needed?
  • Are there issues or problems that you think that training might remedy?  Is training the best option – perhaps a discussion about these issues may end up in a different solution being applied?
  • Do you have a current training plan?
  • Do you have a current Training Needs Analysis?
  • Has a Skills and Qualifications Audit been completed?
  • What training has the team and individuals completed recently?
  • Are you applying for Government subsidies for the training – if and when available?  Would you like assistance in sourcing funding opportunities? – There are some with certain criteria
  • What budget are you allocating for this project? – This will give the provider a guideline and parameter to work with.
Lester Lewis

About Lester Lewis

Using the power of his Sounding Board Coaching Program and his Accredited Business partnership with MAUS, and combined with over 14 years of experience as the State Government's small business specialist in the Bundaberg Region, Lester Lewis encourages and guides small business owners from initial planning stages right the way through the life cycle of their business. A lifetime of working in government and in his own successful businesses, gives Lester a strong theoretical and practical approach to supporting all of his clients, large and small.

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