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In 2010, the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland caused so much volcanic ash in the atmosphere that many European countries decided to shut down the European airspace over concerns that the ash would damage airplane engines. These flight cancellations wreaked havoc for business and pleasure travelers across the globe.
One of those affected was an ExitCertified trainer who was attempting to travel to Montreal from Europe to lead a private group training session. In the end, the trainer couldn’t fly but was still able to lead the class at the designated time by teaching the class remotely using technology which allowed them to interact with the students.
This is an extreme example of one challenge of teaching or attending training. But there are other pain points that companies encounter when attempting to plan, organize, and participate in professional IT training. As many companies require specific IT courses and even certifications for their employees to work, they can encounter several hurdles along the way.
Challenges to Training Employees
Technical training can be a core differentiator for businesses as they work to disrupt the marketplace or attempt to beat their competition. With highly-skilled staff, work efforts become optimized and more efficient as a result of having core technology skills. But organizing and even attending business or IT training can present several obstacles. For example:
- Content might not match core requirements – Often, courses may be broad to cover a wide range of topics under a specific IT skill set. And, these topics might not align precisely with the requirements of a company whose employees need to be trained.
- Staff might only be able to attend courses at particular times – Some companies may have strict times when their employees are available to be trained due to those employees being required to be on the job.
- Employees might not physically be able to attend a training facility – If employees are based in an office that is far from a training facility, they might not be able to participate in training due to the distance. Or they may be remote workers, far from company facilities.
- Courses may be cost-prohibitive – If taken individually, courses can be expensive compared to if they are taken by multiple employees at the same time or in bulk.
- Travel may be restricted due to cost or other factors – Acts of nature (e.g., a volcanic eruption) or other restrictions may make traveling to get training expensive or physically impossible.
Four Ways to Optimizing Training Spend Through Private Group Training
There are several methods for getting staff trained. Individually, employees can do single-course training which often can be a track towards obtaining technical certifications. But single-student courses can often be expensive or may require students to take time from work to travel to a training facility and get the required training.
Another option is to enroll employees in public group training sessions. These are often a bit more cost-effective, and frequently companies can send employees “in bulk” so they can receive similar training curriculum. But public groups can have much broader topics as well as students from various industries.
One method to optimize time and expense while also providing a group of employees with the same course subject matter is to enroll them in private group training sessions. There are several ways private group sessions can be much more beneficial than the other training options available, including:
Private group sessions, like the ones offered by ExitCertified, can be tailored or customized to meet the needs and requirements of the company or department requesting the training. And, what this often means is that a course that typically would take five days in a standard “public” group training session can be completed in only three days. How is this accomplished? When a private group training session is being planned, non-relevant topics can be removed. For example, two courses can actually be combined into a single session to optimize the time and potentially the spend as well.
Private group training sessions are advantageous to companies as they can reduce travel costs by allowing employees to attend the training sessions from their own offices or even their homes. Course materials are now often digital so they can be quickly sent to remote attendees as well. And, companies can potentially save up to 25% in training costs when compared to public bookings of the same courses individually.
3. Location Convenience
Flexibility is also crucial in terms of minimizing downtime (e.g., the time away from work) of employees. When a private group session is scheduled, it can be at a client’s office as well, which means all employees avoid traveling. Or, private group sessions can be scheduled for evenings or even weekends to meet the needs of eliminating operational downtime of those employees.
While private, individual classes are frequently on-demand, pre-recorded, and only have one-way interaction, group sessions, in general, do offer more two-way interactivity and are often led by instructors in real-time (all ExitCertified group training are instructor-led – other training providers might not be).
But not all private group training providers operate in the same way. Choosing the best trainer requires that companies evaluate not only the breadth and depth of the course material but also how the courses are delivered. Some important questions to ask:
- Can private group sessions be held at a company location?
- Is there the ability to have hybrid training sessions, meaning have some students at a training facility while other attend remotely?
- Are the course materials “certified” meaning are they officially approved by the vendor whose technology is being taught?
- Can private group training sessions be scheduled a few weeks prior to the desired training date?
- Can the course topics be tailored to meet the specific needs of the company getting trained?
Leveling Up with ExitCertified
One of the key differentiators of ExitCertified’s private group training sessions is the ability to be flexible. In the case of the eruption-caused flight cancellations, the private training group was still able to take place simply because of ExitCertified’s iMVP (Individual Multimedia Video Presence) technology. The instructor was able to run the training classes remotely through a video and audio connection in the same way that students can attend without physically being in the class. This same technology is frequently used by students who are not physically able to participate in a group session.
Each private group training course has an ExitCertified producer assigned to each session. This producer is tasked with ensuring a successful event which includes guaranteeing that remote attendees are active and able participants in the course. Other training companies may put the instructor in charge of this connectivity task which can end up taking time away from actual teaching of the course material.
As you consider getting your staff or employees trained on the latest software or technology services, consider scheduling a private group training. These sessions are flexible, cost-effective, and ensure that your company’s employees’ time is used wisely.