The 5 W's of Training

February 11, 2013

Build a house with less wall studs?  The 5 W’s of Training.

Does this sound like a good practice? Probably not and nor would it pass inspection. They are spaced out at either 14” or 16” centers for a reason. To give the building sound structure and to make sure it will last and hold up to the test of time  When you skimp on the number of studs, you skimp on the quality of the house.

So, when it comes to training, why is it considered that it’s “ok” to remove some modules of the course and feel that the outcome will be just the same as if all the modules were there in the course?

Good courseware is built with a building block approach. Start taking out the modules of the course because it might not be needed and “it will save us time and money” is being short sighted and making unsound learning for the students. Following through with the whole course is what will make a longer lasting impression and have “staying power”.

When you want someone to learn a new tool or product, answer the 5 W’s.

WHAT ? -  A good outline will tell you what the course is about and what will be learned from the training session and what you will accomplish once you’ve taken the course. Does this course fit your need or will another one work better?

WHO ? – Generally speaking, there are perquisites for taking a course. Who goes into this course will depend on needs and desires. A good course will tell you in the outline who its target is and who really should or shouldn’t be taking a course. Whomever takes the course should be the ones that will benefit the most and give the most return on the training dollar invested. Having the wrong mix of students in a course impedes some and stresses others. Having the right people in the right course is the right way.

WHERE ? Another point to think about. Do you send the student to a training center or keep the training on site ? On site makes the most sense when there are a good number of students that need training. If there is only a couple of students that need a very specialized course, then training them off site would make more sense as a cost of training ratio. Bringing an instructor on site for 5-6 or more people makes more sense as the cost is divided amongst more students and therefore, return on the invested dollar is greater then say if only 4 or less students are trained. Keep in mind that the travel costs and the cost of the instructor are the same whether you have 4 or less or 5 or more. Make good use of your training budget by having the maximum number allowed in the class.

WHEN?  A good question.. When should the employees be trained? Do you wait until you have a project that is going to depend on some of the employees acquiring certain skills? Do you keep your employees on a continuous learning curve?

There are benefits to both approaches and when has to take into account budgets allotted for training , project budgets and time constraints. When will the time be right? Is there a right time?  Which brings us to the next and last W.


WHY? Why is training necessary? All our lives, whether it is labeled training or learning, it’s something that we grow up with and grow into. It’s a part of being human. When companies compromise on training their employees, they compromise on the growth of a company’s ability to diversify, expand, generate profits and retain employees.

There is assaying, a good offense is a good defense. Why should companies think of being trained and ready as a defense strategy ? Today’s market dictates that employees be ready for whatever changes are coming in the future for technology to stay ahead of the game and to be ready. Being ready is the best defense a company can have to take on projects, outperform their competitors, be on the cutting edge and keep the interest of the employees.

Why should you always be planning for training in the budgets? Having the learning curve on a constant  allows for flexibility when it comes to taking on projects . Therefore the time taken to find the money is not wasted, it’s built in thereby allowing to keep on time for completion.

Why wait until a project is at hand? Waiting until there is the demand will be a cost effective measure for companies that are on very tight or limited budget and run on a “on demand” one by one situation.

Benefits will vary for each method but in both cases, the best overall benefit is that your employees will retain and use what they have learned. It’s not throw anyway dollars it’s money well spent.

Training your employees is a key component in being prepared and looking towards a healthy future of the company.



First Blog

January 12, 2012
NeuralWorks would like to introduce our new blog where our consultants will post their musings, including training course feedback, opinions on various technical topics and much more!


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