Why exactly would your organisation choose to run training sessions away from your own business premises? This approach adds to costs, as you have to hire a venue - such as specialist meeting rooms or conference facilities - and transport your people to the alternative location. It also increases the amount of time employees spend away from their desks, which can lead to reduced productivity and output on the day.
From a short-term cost perspective, there seems to be a strong case for running training sessions on-site - essentially getting them done without incurring additional costs and then allowing employees to get back on with their work. But if things were so simple, why is it that so many organisations prioritise the provision of off-site training for their people? Why do these companies choose to use third-party facilities in a different location?
It all comes down to the effectiveness of training. What are organisations looking to achieve by running these sessions, and how best do they feel they can bring about desirable outcomes? If an organisation has important information to deliver to its staff, and needs them to fully take it onboard and apply it their jobs, the quality and effectiveness of its training sessions is the overriding priority.
Too often when companies organise training sessions, information goes in one ear and out the other. This is a real risk when running learning and development programmes, and it only increases if employees are faced with distractions. They need to give their undivided attention to the training provider, taking in as much of the content as they can and processing the information. This will allow them to perform to a higher level in future, potentially adding significant value in the mid to long term.
Many organisations consider that employees are more likely to acknowledge the importance of training if it is conducted away from the office. If their organisation has invested time and money hiring specialist facilities, it must be an important session, right? As such, there is a better chance of the key information getting through to employees first time, thus ensuring they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to be a better employee.
When training sessions take place in the office, there is always potential for distractions. What happens if the business is waiting on a call from a key client and the phone rings? What about if a meeting overruns prior to the training session? Or if an employee is struggling to meet their deadlines, and eager to get back to their desk as soon as possible?
When training is conducted on-site, in employees normal office environment, it almost gives the impression that the session is discretionary. So if there are other work tasks to complete, these should be prioritised over the training session. As such, some workers may not attend, and some may be there is body but not in mind. Your organisations wants to avoid this at all costs.
When sessions are run elsewhere, such as at a dedicated conference and training facility, there are no other distractions for your staff. Employees have travelled to the site and know they will be there until the training ends, regardless of what else needs doing that day. As such, they may as well make the most of the training session, by engaging with the content and fully concentrating on learning. The short-term costs for your organisation may be higher, but there is a vast amount of value to be gained in the future by running successful training sessions.