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Alice Mathers

RS Components

European Training Manager Supply Chain

Read more from Alice Mathers

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Part time v’s Full time training resource


I have recently taken responsibility for training across a large department of people on systems and processes. Training is currently 

being delivered by an in house  team of 'expert users' who do this task amongst their BAU role. Time is constantly traded off between 

their BAU role and the department's training requirements - New Start Training, Level up training, change of processes etc. As a 

result it has been identified that this does not meet the departments current and future training needs. What tools and techniques 

could I use to put a case together that will provide tangible benefits that the management team could buy into to increase the

training resource to full time? 

2 Responses

  1. Interesting question Alice

    Without knowing lots more information re industry, department size, type of training, legal obligations etc. my opening gambit would be to look for infomation on things like:

    • What is your current attrition rate & what reasons do they give for leaving?
    • What is the average time spent in role?
    • Where do employees go when they leave the department?
    • Cost to the business of your ‘experts’ time
    • Cost to business of recruitment & training per head for first 6 months (including lost productivity)
    • What are your competitors doing & how do their stats stack up?
    • For the people who have experienced the training, how do they rate it? 
    • What changes would employees make & what training would they like to receive?
    • What is the current error rate & cost to the business?

    All this should help provide you with a starting point; help you build up a clearer picture of whether it is working & if not, help you put a financial cost on it.

    Basically you need the decision makers to understand the cost of doing something versus the cost of not doing something. I find it is easy to convince even the most ‘tight fisted’ of directors to spend money if I show how much money it will save them.

    Have a think about the people you will be presenting your findings to – will they respond to stark figures or will they need the narrative (stories) to bring the figures alive?

    In terms of ‘theory’ to back up the ‘practical’ there are lots of books/models out there. But if you want to couch it in terms that non-training people will relate to, I would suggest taking a look at Marcus Buckingham ‘First Break all the Rules.’ It is a great piece of research but simple to understand and states clearly that unless staff know what is expected of them in the workplace & have the tools (including knowledge) to do it, then you can forget the rest.

    I hope this makes sense, but if you have any questions or you want someone to bounce ideas off, please feel free to ask.

    All the best


  2. alternative approach

    Since the problem seems to be caused by the trade off between the people’s commitment to train and their committment to their BAU roles there is an alternative to creating a full time training function…..

    That is for the department to increase its line establishment by a small amount which would remove the conflict between training time and line time for the people who train.  This will mean that your existing trainers (P/T but presumably good quality) can happily continue to provide a very credible service, whilst at the same time you won’t need to recruit new and untried people.

    You should/could also get their Job Descriptions and rewards amended to ensure that they are both tasked and recognised for this vital and valuable additional contribution tot he organisation’s business.

    I hope this helps


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Alice Mathers

European Training Manager Supply Chain

Read more from Alice Mathers

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