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Bitesize No 3 – Put Training in the Right Box


If you read and tried to follow Bitesize 2 you may have found it difficult to put a value on certain types of training.

If so, the chances are that you are missing a key piece of theory that most conventional trainers are unaware of.

Once you understand this theory and know how to use it you will immediately improve your standing as a business partner.

This theory says that there are fundamentally two categories of training and development. For simplicity we will call them Box 1 and Box 2.

Box 1
This type of training is otherwise known as ‘must have’ training.

It covers all of the knowledge and skills that your organisation has to have.

The most obvious examples would be compliance training because regulators say you must have it. Or possibly health and safety training because the law demands it.

Less obvious examples of Box 1 training are induction programmes, training on company systems and basic product knowledge.

Without these your employees could not operate. In addition, you might set your own very high standards as a company (e.g. all customers should be greeted in a particular way) so you decide that this is must have.

Now, here’s the theory bit. It is extremely difficult to put a value on Box 1 training. In principle the only ways to do it are either: -

* Design a control group experiment.
* Hypothesise what would happen if you did not do the training.

So, if you were training pilots how to land safely (definitely Box 1) you could have a control group of pilots who did not get the training - not to be advised!


You hypothesise that if they were not trained properly there would be a 100% increase in accidents.

Regardless of the way you choose it would produce some very large pound signs but then all you would be proving is the blatantly obvious.

Instead, just be clear when you are doing Box 1 training and make sure you check the training is working.

Don’t bother trying to put a specific value on it. However, Box 2 is an entirely different proposition.

Box 2
This training is designed with one aim in mind, to add value. This means improving an existing business measure of revenue or costs.

It is only this sort of training that you should really try to put a value on.

You might like to re-try Bitesize 2 now that you know the difference.

Paul is happy to take questions and comments and can be contacted

Earlier articles in this series can be found at:
The Bitesize Business Partners Page


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