Where to Train – On-site or off-site?
One of the most common questions asked by people new to training is “which is better… on or off site training?”. Unfortunately there is no single right answer but the following may help you in your decision for a given course or programme.
Generally speaking the more “training”/ direct job related the activity then being “on-site” has its advantages of associating the learning with the work place. For development activity in preparation for a future role then odd-site may prove more beneficial.
When I ran training courses generally they were in-house, unless we needed facilities that were not available within the business OR we wanted to convey a message about the participants “you are special”, or about the content “this is special” or different.
Some advantages of “off-the-job” training held on-site
- No travel costs
- No venue costs
- No lost time
- Access to resources from the office/ factory/ normal work environment
- Easier to co-ordinate
Some advantages of “off-the-job” training held off-site
- Reduced interruptions (people walking in)
- Impossible for people to “nip back” to the office
- Able to focus on the “need”
Training – On-the-job or off-the-job?
The most effective training for many job based skills will usually be on-the-job. Often where the number of individuals needs to be trained is significant, then due to economies of scale off the job-training is the only sensible option in the short term. Any off-the-job development must be supported by the line manager to ensure effective transfer of learning back to the work place.
What are your thoughts on this?
Often management and leadership training is best run away from the workplace and away from distractions to all the initial assimilation of information. Again the support offered to help the transfer of learning, the mentoring or coaching of the individual to develop and apply the knowledge and skills learnt back in the workplace (by line managers) is vital for rapid success.
The key factor in making the decision to stay on-site or go off-site bust be based on one factor and one factor alone… What are your goals or objectives? What type of environment will provide the best opportunity for the topic and audience concerned?