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Getting the most from your training budget


Lawrence Webb offers his expert advice on how to maximise your training budget.

Training your staff is essential to the growth of your business. It enables them to apply new knowledge and skills to their day-to-day work.  It can also help your staff to meet their personal as well as organisational goals, expand their horizons and it can raise morale in the workplace - all of which benefits your company in the long term. I’ve worked in the training industry for many years and it surprises me how often companies fail to understand how essential staff training and development is to their business. They frequently neglect to consider key aspects of the training needs such as the trainer and even the venue. To enable businesses to get the most from their training budgets here are a few points that I believe should always be taken into consideration.

  • Prioritise what the training needs are in line with the business

First of all you need to assess the development needs of your business and then agree what the relevant training would be. Ensuring you have the right mix of pre-training planning that clearly looks at the needs of your business coupled with venue, location, and trainer means you are adding value and maximising your training budget as well as fulfilling the business need.

  • Ensure your trainer is going to deliver and knows how to engage minds

You could hire anyone to do your training and there are thousands of companies nationwide. It sounds really simple but your trainer needs to be enthusiastic, motivational and engaging, which is often not the case. Empathy with the delegates and their personal needs coupled with an ability to tailor the content throughout is also essential. However an additional factor is that the trainer needs to carefully consider the training environment to ensure the delegates also want to engage and learn. People need to enjoy their surroundings in order to learn and retain new information. Sitting in a cold, dark and dingy basement with a flipchart and cold tea from a paper cup is not going to inspire anybody.

  • Tell people what they will be learning and why

It often helps to motivate colleagues if an explanation is given for the training rather than ‘you must do this course’. This means identifying the benefits; will it make their job easier, quicker, safer, or more interesting or fun? Will it put them in a better position to progress to a new role they aspire to? Will it give them more confidence or independence in their role? You don’t need to ignore the business benefits, but help them identify what’s in it for them to get them engaged from the outset.

  • Ensure the learning is transferable

Once the course has finished, it’s obviously vital that whatever has been learnt in the right environment with the right trainer isn't wasted. Start by checking if they understand the key points and if they already have thoughts about how they could implement what they have learnt. Help them to identify situations where they can put their learning into practice as quickly as possible. It's also important to identify any obstacles that might stand in the way of this happening - as well as their newfound knowledge or skill do they have the necessary resources, time, authority, peer support and opportunity to put their learning into practice?


We shouldn’t expect perfection straight away. Training is all about the people so a good trainer will be able to motivate and engage a group who all learn in a variety of different ways – helping to enhance existing skills and enable them to gain knowledge to achieve their goals through practical examples and tools provided during the sessions. This is basically competency, for which the learning never stops.

Lawrence Webb is owner and consultant at LSW Associates. He has over 25 years of experience in health and safety and environmental management. His company runs training courses all over the UK and mainland Europe

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