One of the challenges often faced by management is ensuring there is enough time in the current cycle to train their staff.
So if you are thinking of training your team, we thought we would complete a quick timeline
for you to ensure that you don’t get caught short. Obviously different industries and different departments will have varying response times, but herewith the broader outline:
Let’s assume that you would like to set a training date for your sales staff for the 1st or 2nd of April. (We always suggest that you choose a minimum of two possible dates
to start off with.) Currently you have seven office-bound telesales people and three on-the-road representatives; in addition to this, you, the manager, would like to be present.
Step one is to ensure that you can make it.
This may take a day or two of reshuffling of appointments or maybe far enough in the future that you diary is still clear.
Step two will be to ensure that you have the go-ahead from all powers that be
, which may take a week or two after getting quotes from a potential training provider. Obtaining the quotes shouldn’t take more than a day or two at most.
Step three will be to ensure that your budget will be available
and can be released by that time. This could take a week or so overlapping with the step above; so for all intents and purposes, let us assume that we are now on three weeks lead time
Step four will be to ensure the availability of the reps on the day.
Clearly the day you chose is after month-end and hopefully in your quieter times, but no guarantees; always ask and ensure that the date is provisionally booked with all delegates. At this point there may be a delay in confirmation from your team as they juggle schedules and expect a delay of a week when involving 10 people, also expect to do some follow up work. So our three weeks have now stretched to four
Step five is to understand your procurement process and how long it takes for purchase orders to be generated
, including what paperwork you will need for your procurement department to be happy, smiling and delighted to serve you. In some organisations this particular step can take two to three weeks, considering all the signatures required. Your four week lead time has now stretched to at least six
to ensure timeous delivery.
Step six is to book the training provider
, and because you were clever enough to have two possible dates for them to choose from, they can accommodate you on the 2nd. Voila! Job done. Seems like a ridiculous amount of time to book a training course doesn’t it? But think about it. The amount of people that need to come back to you, the unavoidable delays in getting confirmation, the year-end and mid-year budgets, the reluctance of directors to spend money, the inevitable “can we spare the entire team on one day conversations” or the “yes, but it is year-end” and especially in South Africa, “no that falls over Easter doesn’t it?” Believe us, six weeks it is.
© Debbie Engelbrecht
Debbie is the CEO of Staff Training, a soft skills training company offering more than 60 short courses including Etiquette, Diversity and Conflict Management. Find out more here.