In this guest post, Seema Hassan, Customer Support Manager at Charity Digital, explores the questions charities should ask before launching a training scheme. It’s easier than ever to undertake training thanks to web-based learning. This allows you to train whenever you want, wherever you want, and it’s usually cheaper than the face-to-face training of the past.
Of course, there’s still a question to be asked on when it’s appropriate and viable to sign someone up for training. There are a number of considerations to take into account when making the decision. To help, here are some of the main questions you should consider when making up your mind.
A basic understanding is fine if it enables you to do your day-to-day duties and it isn’t affecting the way you perform at work. If you’re struggling to carry out your daily activities, then the organisation definitely needs to invest in training. This often happens when software is updated and individuals no longer know all of the shortcuts and functions needed to work efficiently.
If you’re thinking of learning how to use a product, you need to work out how long that product will be used for. If you’re training someone on something for a temporary project, then I think it’s a complete waste; you don’t need to go into detail, just touch the surface and get your job done. If you’ll be using a product more regularly and if it could be a useful tool for everyone in the organisation to use, then it’s justified to spend on training.
Training is useful if you know that the product can produce really good results for the organisation. For instance, at Charity Digital, we currently use Salesforce, which is a really good reporting tool. When we first started using it, we only used the basic functions. But it’s a really powerful tool, and it was only after training that we really benefited from it. Now, it’s a really useful marketing tool, and we also use it to work more efficiently in our daily work through the shortcuts it offers.
Training is useful if you can transfer the skills learnt to others in the organisation. If you’re training an individual who isn’t able to transfer the skills learnt to others within their team, then you’ve just spent money on deadwood. Some training can cost quite a bit of money, but if you can do it just once for the benefit of the whole organisation, then it’s a good way of justifying the cost. On the other hand, you don’t want to spend £200 on learning something just to find that the person leaves, taking the skillset with them. So it’s important to carefully decide who you nominate to do that training, because if that person isn’t confident when leading a team or teaching others, then you won’t get the maximum benefit.
I’ve had instances when I’ve gone on training, but then didn’t then use the software for at least a year. In those cases, you lose everything you’ve learnt. You have to dive back into it as soon as you’ve been trained on something otherwise it’s a lost cause. That’s another bonus of online training, because it’s not just at one point in the year, you can do it whenever suits you and your organisation.
Training will ideally keep a person in their job. When you start investing in individuals, it shows them that the organisation is willing help me develop and be better at what I do. It gives them a bit of importance as well. It’s a two way street – there’s got to be the willingness to want to learn, as well as the aptitude. From the organisation’s standpoint, they need to be convinced that the person undertaking training will use it to the advantage of themselves and the organisation.
It’s not always possible to spend on training when there are other areas that money is needed for. It’s also not always possible to spend time on training when there are deadlines to meet and services to provide. Thankfully, it is less costly thanks to web-based training. If you work out all of the pros and cons, you’ll at least have the tools necessary to make a good decision.