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Investing in training

 
 
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aaron
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:22 pm    Post subject: Investing in training Reply with quote

From an employer's perspective, what do you think about sending staff on training courses? Do you see it as a good use of your resources, and an opportunity to further your business? Or would you be more concerned that you could be spending money on training up staff, only to see them move on to other companies and thus you lose your investment?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Business should make investment for the good of the entire society, so I think it's important that they make investment in employees though they may leave after they complete their training. But, I am speaking idealism here, not reality.

Big companies can make big investment, so they can enroll their employees in colleges and universities even(not always, but often). This doesn't apply to small businesses(generally); I think they need to find good balance like ...

1. An employee enrolls in a rather inexpensive and short training program initially like a seminar or 2 - 3 weeks course.

2. An employee enrolls in a weekend/part time program and tuition is re-inversed monthly or quarterly. You don't lose all your money and your employee at the same time this way.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Business should make investment for the good of the entire society, so I think it's important that they make investment in employees though they may leave after they complete their training. But, I am speaking idealism here, not reality.


I disagree with this.

We all work in IT here. I think most would agree that if we wanted to learn a new skill we would buy a book, read articles, post in forums, and generally learn on the job.

I also think most would agree that in this instance this form of training is far better than going to a training course. Training can take many, many forms and it isn't the case that you have to receive a certificate at the end for it to carry any value Wink

Back on the original topic.

Quote:
From an employer's perspective, what do you think about sending staff on training courses? Do you see it as a good use of your resources, and an opportunity to further your business? Or would you be more concerned that you could be spending money on training up staff, only to see them move on to other companies and thus you lose your investment?


Staff should be learning every day because there is always something they can do better. This doesn't have to be how to do their own job better but how they interact with other employees. For instance some companies (my own included) regularly rotate new employees so that they get a feel for different departments and how they work.

Of course you should train your employees. If they leave then that is their choice and they are doing it because they believe it is in their (or their families) best interests. Treat people well and not only will the ratio of leavers fall but they may well return to the company later or refer friends in your industry.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attending training course/seminar is not just about getting a piece of paper that says "You finished course ABC." It's also about meeting other people, getting new ideas and looking at things from different perspective, it's about a lot of things, though I cannot say that all training courses and seminars are worth the money.

I agree that you can learn at your job, and you should. But I also think that there is a certain limitation in learning at your job because you meet the same people and learn what they know.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Training course can be valuable to your employees if utilised correctly. Unfortunately our company seems to be training course mad. Although sometimes the employees say "yes I learned a lot, it was well worth it" most of the time they Rolling Eyes and say why did I have to waste two days doing that when all I needed was a manual or some 1:1 training?

My boss seems to have spent more time in training courses and other company workshops/seminars then actual time working on potential business which of course defeats the purpose of all this training.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheHeroinesHandbag wrote:
My boss seems to have spent more time in training courses and other company workshops/seminars then actual time working on potential business which of course defeats the purpose of all this training.

Well, as long as she's making money, everything's fine, isn't it? Business is not all about making money, but a big part of it is about making money, so I don't see why it's a problem ...
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

foundThroughAdminSig wrote:
Attending training course/seminar is not just about getting a piece of paper that says "You finished course ABC." It's also about meeting other people, getting new ideas and looking at things from different perspective, it's about a lot of things, though I cannot say that all training courses and seminars are worth the money.


I meet far more people through forums and online networking than I would through a training course Wink

Quote:
I agree that you can learn at your job, and you should. But I also think that there is a certain limitation in learning at your job because you meet the same people and learn what they know


Lets say you meet 15 people on your course. I know I meet heaps more than that online. I can also learn exactly what I need to complete the task at hand.

I admit that some courses can be useful but they will always focus on general skills that 'can' benefit all students rather than specifics that are relevant for every student.

Quote:
Unfortunately our company seems to be training course mad. Although sometimes the employees say "yes I learned a lot, it was well worth it" most of the time they and say why did I have to waste two days doing that when all I needed was a manual or some 1:1 training?


Exactly. Many companies have the idea that going on as many courses as possible will make the company so much smarter. It would be interesting to go around many companies and test the employees on the knowledge covered in their training courses a year after taking them. They should be able to pass them with higher grades than before, I doubt many would though.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adigaskell wrote:
I meet far more people through forums and online networking than I would through a training course.

Ok, what do you mean by "meet" here? Did you get forum members' contact information and actually meet them face to face or kind of get to know them online, i.e., online friends/acquaintances? There is a huge difference meeting and seeing people face-to-face, and that has great value.

Now, I think internet forums are fantastic ways to learn and communicate with others. I participate in many forums and I also run my forums, but it's just not the same as attending classroom training courses/seminars ...
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

foundThroughAdminSig wrote:
adigaskell wrote:
I meet far more people through forums and online networking than I would through a training course.

Ok, what do you mean by "meet" here? Did you get forum members' contact information and actually meet them face to face or kind of get to know them online, i.e., online friends/acquaintances? There is a huge difference meeting and seeing people face-to-face, and that has great value.

Now, I think internet forums are fantastic ways to learn and communicate with others. I participate in many forums and I also run my forums, but it's just not the same as attending classroom training courses/seminars ...


I agree that it's not a perfect solution but there are many businesses that seem to discount it as a solution at all. Almost like they massage their egos by the number of courses they send people on.

With regards to meeting people. A couple of the forums (business related) have regular get togethers and I've met many people from Ecademy.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

foundThroughAdminSig wrote:
TheHeroinesHandbag wrote:
My boss seems to have spent more time in training courses and other company workshops/seminars then actual time working on potential business which of course defeats the purpose of all this training.

Well, as long as she's making money, everything's fine, isn't it? Business is not all about making money, but a big part of it is about making money, so I don't see why it's a problem ...


That's just it, he isn't making money because he's spending all his time at company training courses and continually has to push back dates with potential clients. Which is exactly what I said basically it defeats the purpose of all that training if you never get to use it in the real world.

This is probably one element of why our team is being made redundant as there isn't any new revenue coming in.

It's true that business is not all about making money but you do need clients or potential clients and spending all your time in house is counter productive.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can appreciate both sides of this discussion. In a previous life I often spent time on training courses, seminars, etc.

On one hand some of the courses were really good 'jollies' a bit of fun, evening drinking and a break from the norm.

However, some courses can be extremely useful in both content and networking (if thats not too much of a naff word).

I would recommend that all organisations try to implement Continuous Professional Development. Work with employees to develop continuous learning plans with an emphasis on both the employer and the employee contributing. It is within everyones interest to maintain motivated, educated and knowledgeful workers. CPD does not always require special courses and days out, but that does not mean that they should not be considered useful.

Mike.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:44 pm    Post subject: Training Reply with quote

Training can be a great way for business's to invest in their people and increase proftability. The risk of an employee moving on to another company is far outwieghred by the positive attitudes and loyalty which comes from a sense that the employer cares enough to invest in their employees.
Training is merely providing a learning opportunity. Good training will provde information which is relevant and interesting. The quality of training will decide its true value.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:35 am    Post subject: Re: Investing in training Reply with quote

aaron wrote:
From an employer's perspective, what do you think about sending staff on training courses? Do you see it as a good use of your resources, and an opportunity to further your business? Or would you be more concerned that you could be spending money on training up staff, only to see them move on to other companies and thus you lose your investment?


Aaron, this is an excellent question, and my answer to the question forms the basis of my company's existence. I hope I'm right!

For the last 20 years, I have worked in various management roles within the telecommunication and software industries. During that time, I've encountered a number of different approaches to training. In recent years, I've seen a clear trend away from general training (MBAs and the like) and towards focused training. I suspect there are several reasons for this:

- In an era of cost-cutting, focused training is less expensive
- General training does not have immediate application
- It's clear that some managers lack basic skills that are not taught in traditional courses

As my business partner and I reflected on this trend, we realized that there is a growing market for focused training courses in skills that have immediate business application. In our case, we both have excellent reputations in business communication, so we built interactive online courses that address this topic. We consciously decided to construct a larger number of short courses rather than a smaller selection of long courses. As a result, our customers can choose specific training modules.

Let me be specific. There was a time when I led a proposals team within a large international corporation. We produced large numbers of detailed proposals chasing projects in the order of millions of dollars. Surprisingly, no one ever considered the quality of writing. I was fortunate to have a number of good writers on my team, but we could have done a much better job with some basic training. As a result of this experience, we have created a 4-week course that focuses on nothing but collaborative reports (which includes proposal writing).

Getting back to your point, we try to deliver valuable training that can be applied to the work environment immediately. The cost of the investment is much less and, therefore, the return on investment is much shorter.

I'm interested to learn what others think about our approach. Am I right in concluding that an increasing number of companies seek focused training rather than general training? As an employer, would you be willing to spend less money on short courses than larger sums on MBAs and the like?
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

foundThroughAdminSig wrote:
Attending training course/seminar is not just about getting a piece of paper that says "You finished course ABC." It's also about meeting other people, getting new ideas and looking at things from different perspective.


I completely agree. We ran a comprehensive beta trial earlier this year. We were fortunate to have professionals participating from several different countries. Our courses are designed to be very interactive; despite this, we had underestimated how important the social aspect of training really is. Everyone loved working alongside classmates from other countries.

There was an unintended benefit from having an international classroom. Everyone soon learned that there are several different forms of English and that it's possible to cause confusion by choosing the wrong turn of phrase. Spelling and rules of grammar differ between these forms of English. Everyone benefited by becoming more aware of these differences.
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