Considerations when organising training

Posted: 9th January, 2023 in Case Studies, Communications, Personal effectiveness, Strategy & planning, Time Management, Tips & Tricks, Training and mentoring

Have you ever found yourself in the position where you are organising training for your team? And whilst you have selected the trainer, you are keen for it to go well and wonder if there is anything else you can do to make it work?

Like the phrase fail to prepare – prepare to fail, there are many ideas we can employ to get the best out of the day. Some of these are on a practical basis. And others are about setting expectations and parameters for trainees, their managers and colleagues alike.

The most important point is that we don’t take anything for granted or leave anything to chance. it's the little things that matter, so here are a few tips I find useful.

The venue – hold training in a dedicated room, such as a boardroom or training room either onsite or in a local hotel. Make sure it’s comfortable enough for people in terms of heating, air conditioning etc.

Ideal group sizes - In order to ensure the utmost learning opportunity and maintain a fully interactive session, we recommend a minimum number of 4 and a maximum of 10 participants. If this number increases, training can become ineffective as it naturally takes on a more lecture-based style.

Group dynamics – This applies when you have a large group of people attending several workshops. Although you need to consider rosters and teams, it is vital to strike a balance in the group dynamics. Therefore, please consider the profiles and personalities of individuals, the ranks of staff and levels of experience.  More importantly, think about who will buy into training versus those less willing. Finally, have a mix of quiet and out-going people together for stability.

Attending for the full time – Trainees need to be present for the full duration. Otherwise, its distracting for everyone and details are missed. It can also take away from the value of training and what you are trying to achieve.

Attendees swapping dates - It is inevitable staff may wish to swap dates at the last minute. This is perfectly fine as long as the group numbers and dynamics are maintained as much as possible.

Set-up on the day – the best layout is a U-shape or boardroom style for professional training unless its IT skills and computers are needed. You may need a projector or a large TV. WIFI and flipcharts may be needed too.

Arrive early - Arrange for the trainer to arrive 30 minutes beforehand to check the set-up and ensure everything works and there are no surprises. Ask participants to come 10 minutes early too.

Times (lunch and breaks) – always allow for decent breaks in training and encourage staff to take a full hour at lunchtime to refresh. Bringing the tea/ coffee to the room is helpful as it prevents people returning to their desk. Having a nice lunch and goodies at break-times is a great motivator too.

Distractions during training – It is essential staff feel they are getting a chance to get the best out of the day and have your support. Remind them that it’s okay to take the time out, leaving calls and emails aside for the day – even during breaks and lunchtime. Advise all managers and staff not to disturb the team during training. Otherwise, it sends a mixed message and undermines the purpose of the training.

Senior managers attending training – It is always good to cater for as many team members as possible, with the support of management. Yet, there are times when it is better that a senior manager/ director does not attend. Staff may go quiet and feel a little intimidated, whereas you want them to open up and talk freely. In these instances, we recommend running a workshop specifically for senior managers.

Getting feedbackmany trainers will use feedback forms at the end of the course. Always ask the trainer for a short debrief call or teams’ meetings, as they can share any insights or observations this way.

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