If you are building a new training program or are revising an existing one, you may wonder if onsite training makes sense. And if you don’t currently have an onsite training facility, should you spend the money to create a designated space? These are just some of the circumstances to think about when deciding between onsite training or some other training like offsite training. The best place to start is by weighing the pros and cons of onsite training.
Cons to onsite training
- Team bonding
Sometimes getting out of the office can act as a mini-retreat for employees. Holding a group meeting at a hotel or another offsite training facility forces employees to leave the office behind and solely focus on the training. Employees can’t run back to their office for example and check on tasks left undone. Plus, if you create some team bonding exercises, it can help grow the team professionally and also personally.
When you hold training offsite you can customize the setting. For example, you can pick the room size you need, the table configurations or the ideal environment to train your employees. And by controlling the environment, the more your employees will be engaged during training and the more likely they will retain the information learned once training is complete.
- Training specialist
If you are a smaller company and do not have a learning department, hiring an outside firm to run your training may seem beneficial. Not only will this company provide the space needed for the training, but they will provide a specialist to run the training. This could save you the time and effort of taking this task on yourself.
Advantages to onsite training
Now let’s discuss some of the pluses to onsite training.
- Saving time
When you hold your training onsite, you save time trying to find a facility to hold your training in off-site. Whether you have an entire learning team or it’s a single person department, it takes effort to research places to hold training for your teams, secure the space for the time you need the training, and to make sure the facility has the necessary technology for you to carry out your training.
- Saving money
Onsite training often saves money. When you train off-site, you need to pay for a facility to hold the training in. You also need to figure out transportation to and from the training if it’s not nearby. Plus, if you choose a hotel for example to hold the training, you may pay for hotel lodging for a night or two just so you can fit in multiple training sessions in the same block of time. And if you are choosing a longer training session like this, you will need to incorporate food and beverage costs for your teams.
- Company image
In today’s world, customers want to do business with an organization who cares about the environment, gives back, and doesn’t spend money they don’t have to. So by holding a large offsite training where the company is paying a large sum of money for its employees to receive training, it may look like a waste of money to customers and even employees, not in the training. This could create backlash both internally and externally for your company.
- No business loss
When you train off site, your employees don’t have access to their physical office space. Although most files and documents can be accessed remotely, being at remote training removes employees from their workday. For example, an employee could get a call from a client that requires them to collaborate with another team member in the office. If they were onsite training, it would be easy to walk down the hall, chat briefly, and get back to the client quickly. However, if you are offsite, this process could take longer either irritating the client or potentially losing business.
If you are doing some executive coaching for your senior-level management team, for example, this training may be sensitive and not something you want leaked to customers or even competitors. Holding training off-site makes you a bit more vulnerable to security issues. This may also be a problem for new product roll out training sessions or compliance type training where training materials and handouts need to be taken by trainees upon class completion. Leaving material behind in a public hotel room, for example, could be problematic if they were to fall into the wrong hands