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Any Answers Digest #18 – researching company values, funding training outside work, social skills videos…


TrainingZONE Any Answers Digest - Issue 18
Wednesday 28 August 2002

********** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS **********
Researching company skills videos...funding
training outside the ideas for outdoors
events...starting a training for
********** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS **********

686 questions, 1915 answers and 751 respondents to date in 2002!
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What you asked this fortnight
New questions posted include:

I am looking for a series of Ice Breakers and activities that are
innovative and fun that would work within a training course for
Prison inmates shortly due for release - any suggestions?, asks
Molly Carey

I am running a workshop for our retail store managers. We want to
investigate whether our company values are in line with the brand
- any ideas for practical tasks to help get us on the right
track?, asks Erica Harley

Do you know of any training videos or tapes that can help to
develop a person's social skills?, asks Rebecca

Got a question you need answered? Post it now, free of charge at

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Featured question: Training and development policy
I am currently re-writing our training and development policy and
strategy and am looking at the possibility of introducing some
sort of non-vocational grant, along the lines of 100 GBP to go
and do anything - night classes in still life drawing or
woodworking, or golf lessons etc. Is this something that
companies are offering these days, and if so how much, are there
conditions attached, what percentage of employees take up the
offer, does it work as a motivator/help with loyalty etc.?

Question submitted by Claire Donnelly

Members responses

(Edited responses appear - see the site for full comments)

A couple of years ago I took my 'Day Skipper' evening classes at
my local sailing club, and shared the lessons with a couple of
people from Ford who were given money to attend any course of
their choosing in their own time. So they might be worth a call?
Hope this helps

Dave Melling


My company is going through a similar change period as regards
to 'soft skills'. One of the options suggested by the employees
themselves was for the company to fund half of a training course
with the employees paying the other half. The company would give
the day off for the course if required.

Andrew Miller


I think this is a great idea Claire. I am a business psychologist
and think this fits well with a lot of motivational theory. I
must admit though, that I know of none of my clients who do this.
It seems cost-effective in a number of ways and I don't think any
conditions should be attached - just one of the benefits of
offering this sort of thing is that you are recognising the
individual and the fact that they want to develop in all sorts of

Nigel Wood


I have come across one company that does this kind of thing and
it has certainly had a degree of success. Staff in this
particular company appreciated being given the opportunity, but
as I understand it the take was fairly low. I think there were
probably two reasons for this:

1. The scheme was only communicated on one occasion and not all
staff were aware of the scheme.

2. The take up was low because people said that they didn't have
time outside of the working environment to take advantage of the
offer (working long hours, having to look after the kids and just
being too tired were some of the reasons given)

I hope that this helps

Laura Watkinson


Ford were the first UK company to introduce Employee Development
Schemes in the late 1980's. Since that time more than 800 schemes
have been set up - so there should be plenty of detail out there.
If you log onto the government web site (
there are plenty of references to EDS. Alternatively try your
local Business Link or LSC.

Kevin Williams


I would be very interested in knowing how you get on. We have an
Educational Support scheme that funds employees on course that
are not directly related to their present job, but will help them
in the future. At present it still has to be job related in some
way. Examples are HNC's in Business, CIPD courses etc. Under the
scheme the company pays for the course and the employee
contributes 25 per cent. If they complete the course and stay 6
months they get their 25 percent back.

Mr Stephen Bostridge


Read the full discussion and add your own views at

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Any Answers Answered:
This fortnight, new responses have been added to the following

Q - I am trying to come up with some new ideas for an outdoor
training event, based around teamwork and vision and values. Any
ideas of how I could put something together would be greatly

Katrina Edgar

(edited responses appear - see site for full responses)

A - Take a look at the Sundial Group Venues, all of which have
purpose built team building activities in the grounds. We've used
them to great effect with a variety of teams.

Good luck!

Colin Hamilton

A - Katrina, good luck with your task! I'm probably pointing out
the obvious, but if you are organising this as an in-house
exercise (albeit outdoors!) have you got suitably qualified
people to run it, and are all delegates physically up for it?
There may be various H&S and corporate liability issues that
need to be run past your legals and insurers.

Fiona Macpherson

A - Ironically I used to be an Outdoor Pursuits instructor who
also taught IT on the centre. I would recommend reading up on
some kiddies activity books. These kinds of activities are easily
altered for an adult audience, however in my experience the
alterations need only be minor.

Lindsey Fields

To read the full responses, see

Q - I have been asked to set up a Training library basically
from a pile of training brochures. I would like to know how
other companies have their training libraries set up for
brochures, books, videos etc.

Sharon Doggrell

(edited responses appear - see site for full responses)

A - As a Chartered Librarian, I should recommend that you employ
a library/information professional!
Key principles:
1 storage
2 access
3 stock management
4 circulation control

If you localise material at different sites, you may want to
introduce specialisation at each site, as appropriate, in
addition to duplication of necessary material.

John Hughes

To read the full responses, see

Any Answers would cease to function without all those who
regularly share their knowledge and experience. If you've
benefited from receiving advice from an Any Answers question but
have yet to post a response yourself, why not do your bit by
responding to one of the questioners now at

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