Are you wasting 25% of your training budget?

Written by Matt Somers on . Posted in Coaching Skills for Managers

Don’t spoil the ship for ha’p’orth of tar…

…was one of the many pieces of home-spun wisdom my mother shared with me as I was growing up.

I’m always reminded of it whenever the subject of running training on site comes up.

Of course, it normally occurs when we get to the thorny old issue of costs and my client will say, “What if we were to run it here in our training room? What would that save?”

Let’s consider a straight comparison with my own 2-day coaching skills training course.

If we’re able to use one of our recommended venues, participants will get:

  • A bright and airy training room, set up and equipped
  • Ergonomically designed chairs
  • Notepaper, pads and pencils
  • Unlimited tea, coffee, water and boiled sweets
  • Outside space for coaching practice and quality thinking time
  • peace and quiet, free from distractions

If I were to use the “typical” on site training room, participants will usually get:

  • a tiny training room that doubles as a store cupboard
  • any chairs that haven’t been broken (and some that probably have)
  • old handouts from last year’s Manual Handling course to use for notes
  • stuck with having to do “Tea runs” not forgetting that George likes extra sugar
  • 40watts of Tesco Value light bulbs
  • hounded by bosses knocking on the door asking “Could I just borrow Jenny a second?”

Okay, okay I’m making terrible generalisations. Some training rooms I get to use are fantastic, but I’d be surprised if you don’t recognise at least some truth in what I’m saying.

My serious point of course is to consider the effect of the learning of the participant. Saving 10% on the cost of the training but reducing its effectiveness by 25% is clearly not a good idea.

Easy for me to say of course, when I don’t have to foot the bill.

Am I being unfair?

I’d appreciate your comments.

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Comments (2)

  • John Dell'Armi


    So true about the venue. The physical environment has to be right too.


  • Liz Moloney


    The “right” environment really does “make” a condusive educational session(s).


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