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Take a Sneak Peak at my Cheat Sheet!


Here’s a cheat sheet...

I put together for my corporate clients recently to help them get the most from provider/client relationships.  So whether you are buying in training or providing training I thought you might like a sneak peak…

Needs analysis

Tick box training gets everyone a bad name. Make sure your training supplier is willing and able to take your corporate training needs analysis that bit further. What kinds of questions are they asking you? Are they really keen to explore exactly what the goals are you need to achieve? Are the key objectives  improvement, development or maintenance or a mix of all three for example? How does your supplier know? Are they asking prospective learners to secure their buy-in? Make sure there is at least a pre-course questionnaire, circulated and reviewed by the supplier before the event. What about a Skype or on-site meeting to discuss options further?

Tailored training is good

But how bespoke is it really? How do you know? Has the supplier done sufficient research and taken the time and effort to get to know you, your people, your culture, your language, your priorities? This is all part of the tailored service – you should not need to pay extra for it. And what exactly are you paying for? Are the fees representing quality of service and true expertise or something else?

Innovative approaches to training delivery

Shorter courses – expert delivery

Budgets are not just the problem. How difficult do you now find it to release staff for even a day? Experts should be willing and able to package their delivery into shorter, intensive yet participative sessions, run at times to suit operational pressures. You may have to pay slightly more for evenings or weekends but too much of an increase on a daily rate for this I feel is inappropriate these days when everyone is working together to survive and prosper.

Powerful methods to supplement workshops and courses

Look for the variety of methods suggested. Action learning sets, training of internal facilitators to cascade or provide continuity, guided projects and business challenges are often more powerful than stand-alone courses. They should be work-related and are more likely to deliver sustainable results. These methods may actually cost less than traditional training delivery.

Coaching and Mentoring

Targeted support for individuals and teams, particularly powerful for senior staff, could well be a more cost-effective and results-orientated solution. You may have issues around change management, career development, conflict, team building or effective leadership. Ensure your provider is qualified, identifies key stakeholders, clarifies expectations and boundaries – oh, and understands the difference between coaching and mentoring and the shades of distinction in between!

Does the intervention purely end with an evaluation form?

How much is your chosen supplier doing to help you monitor impact and value? What about the transfer of learning to the workplace? Consider what post-training support is on offer. At the very least there should be free on-line and/or telephone support and email updates for learners for a period, to support their action planning. ‘Virtual at desk coaching’ goes one step further. How willing is the provider to get involved in medium and longer term evaluation and support if you need this?

Your supplier should be designing your solutions around needs and critical incidents. These can be measured afterwards. You need to know if you are getting ROI, and this is feasible for soft skills training, too. Don’t let your supplier tell you otherwise!


These days we all appreciate a ‘significant free’. Check what else is included in the fees. Will your delegates receive free journals to encourage reflective practice? What about refreshments provided on workshops – or are you having to organise these? Would you benefit from free advice, articles, checklists and even a complimentary training event now and again?

So… the good news is….

As a client you are in a great place at the moment to ensure you get everything …and more than you want and need from your suppliers. Choose one that makes you and your organisation feel individual, special and valued. Make sure they have a ‘guarantee’ policy, just in case.

You should get a great, long-term productive partnership – so a true win/win for both parties with everyone involved in providing and receiving the learning experience getting the results they need!

Alison Miles-Jenkins
Founder & CEO
How To Market Training

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