In these times of recession, training is often one of the first things that gets cut in a company.  How can a company justify the time that it takes to train each member of staff – let alone the cost.  IT training in particular seems to be a waste of time.  It is easy to use Microsoft Applications – you just need to point and click.

Most of the people I meet are self taught.  They have worked out how to make the tools do what they need it to do and repeat for each document.  This is often accompanied by swearing and general frustration as the tool doesn’t quite behave the same way each time.  But at the end of the day, the job gets done and you can move on.

Just think about a time when you could get all those jobs done more efficiently without the shouting and stress.  How about giving yourself 20% more time to do other jobs?  This is what training can give you.

From a company perspective, investing in training can be good for staff morale and staff retention as well as increased productivity.

What to Look For In Your Training Provider

When you identify the need for training, make sure you do a self analysis first.  What level do you think you are at currently and what do you want to do with your applications.  I’m quite happy to teach Excel pivot tables to anybody – but there is little point if you don’t ever analyse numbers.

Ask your prospective training provider the following questions:

1. Do they offer bespoke training.  It is important that you get trained in what you need to know – not what you already know, or what you don’t need to know.

2. How long is the training course?  It is hard to focus for a whole day unless it is a highly interactive course.  If you are ‘doing’ and learning all day, you may lose some of the effect.  Sometimes 2 x 1/2 day courses are better than 1 x full day course.

3. Are notes / exercises provided for use after the course?  It is good to be able to go back and remind yourself what happened when the course is finished.

4. What support is provided?  Can learners contact the trainer to clarify lessons learnt?

5. How is the training provided – face to face or online?  What is the procedure for each?

What other questions can you add to this?  It would be interesting to get your comments.