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Seb Anthony

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Managers and choosing training….


Obviously you usually identify people with a training need and fill the gap.

My question refers more to the process of training someone to further develop rather than filling a gap. Managers need to fairly choose the right person(s) to be given the opportunity to attend. Examples may be: Have they already been on training in the last 6 months? If yes you may want to allocate it to someone who hasnt received any yet.
Has the person been on disciplinary in the last 6 months? if yes then someone who has been performing well may be more appriopriate.

Any tips, suggestions would be great.
Tom Sutherland

5 Responses

  1. Business Interest
    Surely this should be a matter of business interest even for further development.

    The only question that should be applied (in my opinion) is which individual will bring the most benefit to the business as a direct result of training?

    The point of training is to enhance individual skills to bring direct business benefits – if the training to be provided doesn’t fit this criteria then perhaps the question should be – why are we doing this training? Rather than who should we send on this course?

    It has to be said that delivering training by “fairness” i.e. he’s had 3 courses this year and she’s had none or by “disciplinary record” i.e. that person has been off sick 3 times this year and thus been on a disciplinary (despite 25 years of untarnished service) so let’s not train her and let’s train the new starter instead even though he’s only been here 3 months but he’s not been disciplined yet – just doesn’t make sense, from a commercial point of view at all.

  2. Training for personal development
    Assuming your managers have regular development discussions with their employees, a process that I have used successfully in the past was categorising needs in to short term, medium term and long term.

    Short term = needs the training to fulfil their role
    Medium term = Needs the training to move either to next role or to adapt to any future changes in the current role
    Long term = Training for personal development (and possible long term business benefit).

    Training courses were always filled with short term needs first, any places left over were for the medium term needs, and if any places were available after this then these were offered to the long term needs with the ones who had been waiting longest taking priority. My target as training manager was to ensure all short term needs were actioned within 3 months and it was rare with the number of courses that we ran to meet this objective that a person with a long term need would have to wait longer than 12 months before being offered a place.


  3. Ask the people you intend to train
    This may sound either completly obvious or totally stupid.

    Why not ask the trainees what they want.

    You might then get people attending training who want to be there instead of just assuming that everyone wants to aspire to the managers position.

    Many do not and if they are forced unwittingly into that position will never give the value of someone who actually wants to be there.

  4. 12 questions to ask
    This resource was downloaded from the Toolkit area of TrainingZONE

    Author and copyright: Trans4mation
    Source: Trans4mation
    Publisher: Trans4mation
    Publisher’s website:

    12 Questions to ask before committing to a training programme

    Is this training event really needed, or can the individual or team provide the solution?

    Is this training necessary for everyone, or can the learning be percolated throughout the team?

    Will the training align individual needs with organisational goals?

    Will the skills to be developed, expected behaviour changes and measures of success be committed to before the training event?

    Will the training be tailored to the current skills levels?

    Will the training inspire the participants to achieve the new skills level required?

    Will you manage your budget on unit cost, (cost per head, total programme cost,) or value for money?

    Will the training improve profitability and increase efficiency, through more purposeful team working and/or by eliminating downstream costs?

    Will the training improve morale and retention of talent?

    Will the training content be based on research and established principles?

    Will the delivery of the training be accessible and memorable?

    Will the training be measured, both quantitatively and qualitatively?

  5. Thanks
    Thanks for all the comments. I realise its an simple one – but for some line managers simple still isnt simple enough – guidelines are always good to make the selection process more consistent.


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