Real Cost of Instructor-Led Training

Instructor-left training costs can come in many forms. Financial costs are the traditional way in which this question is answered. “We were able to develop this training program for about $2,500.” But what’s the cost to you?

real cost of instructor-led training includes time

Just because you develop a training program in-house, doesn’t mean it was designed for “free”. Yes, your time is already budgeted and paid for, but it’s certainly not “free”.

If you didn’t have to spend so much time coming up with original activities and thinking of new ways to engage people, what else could you be doing with your time? Another way to think of it might be this: if you had an extra 4-8 hours of work time this week, how would you invest that time? Would you get one more project scratched off your to-do list? Would you shut down a bit early on Friday?

The Big Question

When someone (usually around budget season) asks: “How much does it cost to put together your training programs,” what do you tell them? Are you able to come up with a good answer? Do you know the true cost of instructor-led training?

We put this little calculator together to help determine the real cost of instructor-led training.

Cost of Training Assumptions

As you can see, our Cost of Instructor-Led Training calculator is making a few assumptions. It assumes that:

  • It takes about 8 hours of development time to put together a plan and materials for one hour of training (including background research, activity development, facilitator materials, participant materials, PowerPoint slides, etc).
  • Your labor hours are the only costs involved in training. Costs go up even further if you’re using graphic designers, purchasing off-the-shelf content or videos, printing participant materials in full color, etc.

Lower the Cost of Instructor-led Training with Soapbox

Yes, this particular training cost calculator brings Soapbox into the equation and offers an idea of how many labor hours you could save by automating some of your instructional design process, but there’s a bigger point to be made here.

The saying “time is money” is only partially true. Yes, when you’re at work, your time equates to labor hours, which have a cost to your business. Unlike money, however, your time cannot be saved. So the real question is: how do you want to spend it?

We would love to help you determine how to lower your cost of instructor-led training with Soapbox. We only need 15 minutes (we know your time is valuable!).

The Business Case for Learning (podcast)

Recessions and economic downturns happen. Many of us have worked – or tried to work – through more than one economic downturn. As training departments tend to be small compared to other departments, how do we stay relevant in tough economic times?

Chris Pirie from the Learning Futures Group sits down with the Train Like You Listen team this week to give us a little history of his experiences in training department during economic downturns. He takes some time to discuss how this economy is different than others in his experience, and what the business case is for learning and development, no matter what the economy.

If you are interested in hearing more from Chris, be sure to check out his work and his podcast at learningisthenewworking.org

Tune in this week, and every week to learn more about what other professionals are doing to push our industry forward!

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Flipping your training toolbox upside down

JD Dillon is an interesting creature. The best that I can tell, the guy eats, sleeps and breathes talent development. I’ve followed him on Twitter, I’ve seen and interacted with him at conferences. And he’s a total learning geek. So it’s fitting that his company is called LearnGeek.

Earlier this week we shared our latest Train Like You Listen podcast, featuring JD, and we had a chance to talk about organizational learning strategy and a modern learning ecosystem. I want to return to this idea in today’s post because there’s something fascinating about the modern learning ecosystem model that JD offers. It literally turns the tools we typically use in training and development on their heads.

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Prioritizing Learning and Development.

Generations tend to shift their priorities based on many things, like values and events that happen as they enter the workforce. As the youngest of our co-workers start their professional careers, many are noticing a shift in what they value from their employer in the form of benefits. One interesting thing I have encountered is the priority many people, across generations, are starting to place on learning and development over many other benefits that used to seem like the bee’s knees. Continue reading

What are training professionals actually doing with their time?

Several weeks ago I introduced our presentation design tool — Soapbox — and asked for volunteers willing to test it and provide feedback in our Beta phase. This week we’ll begin Beta testing on this tool intended to save people time in the design of their training programs.

As our Beta testers have waited to get their hands on Soapbox, we’ve asked them to participate in several short surveys about how they’re currently spending their time. Following are some insights from their responses.  Continue reading

Elements of Amazing Learning Experiences

If professional development experiences are a sort of lab, in which learners can test new knowledge and skills and instructional designers and trainers can concoct new and engaging ways to create amazing learning experiences, I wonder what the basic elements for this lab would be.

Being inspired as the son of a science teacher, I put together the Elements of Amazing Learning Experiences organized by solids, liquids, gases, radioactive elements and interactive elements.  Continue reading

Case Study: The Impact of Training One Year After Launch

A year ago I found myself in Birmingham, AL, helping to lead a train the trainer session as part of the launch and roll-out of a new sales training program.

A year later, we’ve been able to look at the impact of training through the lens of Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation and see the results and impact on each level, including a double-digit growth in sales for those stores who have implemented this program compared to those who haven’t.   Continue reading