CEO Matt Somers writes about the dangers of using cheap training or not implementing training at all
This month’s guest blog post is from our CEO, Matt Somers. He wrote this article after his trip to Dubai in December 2014.
This week I have been in Dubai with my business development hat on. We have had a number of recent staff changes affecting our UAE clients and as CEO I decided I wanted to look after the area personally for a while.
There were a couple of key events during the week that made visiting the UAE now sensible. On Sunday my colleague John Cartmell and I had a stand at the UK Trade and Industry (UKTI) Skills Expo at the British Embassy. On Monday and Tuesday there was a large learning and development event – the T&D show – running at the Dubai World Trade Centre which I attended as a visitor.
At both events, I noticed a lot of talk about the cost of training and return on investment. Purchasers of training were worried about getting value for money from their spend on external training. Suppliers were worried about finding a price point that was competitive yet profitable.
There was however not so much talk about the cost of getting it wrong or the cost of doing no training.
When you are accountable for the purchase decision and charged with protecting a budget it’s easier to be seduced by a lower price, but what if the training turns out to be low quality? What if you have to repeat it next year because nobody could retain what they learnt? What if the training was adequate but so uninspiring for the participants that they feel less inclined to commit to the next training initiative.
Have you really achieved value for money or a return on investment here?
Worse still, what if you elect to do no training and save your money? How do you develop your business or organisation then? How will you keep up with the competition? How can you take advantage of the incredible savings made possible by technology if people don’t know how to use it? As the old cliché goes, ask not what if we train them and they leave? Ask what if we don’t train them as they stay?
None of this means that suppliers should not be under pressure to demonstrate that they add value and offer a return on investment. We always try to do this in our own presentations and proposals although, as everybody knows, it is not an exact science.
My suggestion here is that alongside wondering what is the cost of any training, we must also ask what is the cost of getting the decision wrong? and what is the cost of doing nothing?