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Seb Anthony

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Course take-up


Staff are provided with a schedule of IT courses that are centrally funded. However, the numbers are in constant decline. Do I continue to flog a dead horse or do I buy more e-content? Alternatively, do I cut the training offer and run courses on a demand-led basis?

Purchasing e-content will allow greater participation from colleagues who are based outside of the UK and have a genuine training need as budgets are tighter outside of the UK.
Mahmood Noman

5 Responses

  1. Demand led is better

    If you’ve been offering these courses for a while, it may be that most people have done all they need.

    It’s always more efficient to determine demand and provide what is needed. So, do your skills auditing or at least ask employees what training they do or don’t need and arrange your supply to meet the demand.

  2. Ask what the trainees want.
    Robin is exactly right.

    If nobody is going to the training it is because they don’t want to or it is not the appropriate training.

    Ask the staff what they want then spend the budget on supplying that.

    The training will be appropriate because it is what they want and they will want to do it because they have been included in the decision about what is provided.


  3. Other things to consider
    In add ition to what Peter and Robin have suggested I would raise the following:
    1. With respect, is the training good enough? Has it been bought off the shelf, where there is a chance that it’s not fully relevant, inspiring etc?
    2. Is your organisation selling the benefits of the training enough – to enhance their customer interactions, CPD, build on their future etc? If we want buy-in, then it needs to be sold.
    3. Is learning being sufficiently promoted by the organisation to the staff in line with the organisation’s core values?
    4. If the staff have managers, what part are the managers not playing in this?
    5. Is the learning not linked in with personal development plans?
    It may not be feasible geographically but if it were me, I would have them in and take them through a session linking personal Vision and Values to team V and V and organisational V and V. If you hit the right note on the personal V and V – that, to some extent, their futures and those of their own personal stakeholders (family, reportees etc) are dependent on their learning – then many will change their attitude. This is assuming, of course, that the leadership will support this from then on. I have had experience in several situations just like you describe and it does work.

  4. There may be more to it…
    While I agree with the above that generally folk don’t go on courses that they don’t value or feel bring a benefit or if they’ve had bad things about it etc.

    The other issue you may have though is… do your managers actually support time for training or do they pay lip service to training and development but in fact tell their staff that they are far too busy to release them this time or this week?

    The only way to find out is to do an analysis of previous learners and likely candidates for future learning and ask them about the courses they have attended and why (or why not)they would use your training services in the future.

  5. Mix & Match Demand & Schedule
    I agree with all the comments made and I have recently (6 months ago) introduced a formula that works in my organisation (600+). I offer scheduled training in the mornings and 1:1s/coaching/specials in the afternoons. I’m now busier than I was and satisfy more training/coaching needs.


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