Webinar: cost effective future of training

It saves travel and accommodation costs.

Earlier people were encouraged to attend all types of training. Yes, we had apprenticeships and those schemes are still doing an excellent job. But, we also had Proficiency Test Training in skills with competency exams linked to wage awards. Industries had training boards that provided training in interpersonal skills at work, technical and business skills. Perhaps they were overdone, as at the time it seemed like there was a training workshop every week. 

But, has the pendulum moved too far the other way? When we are told that in 2010, the amount of new information we will need to absorb to keep on top of our profession will at least double, surely the challenge will be to keep up-to-date.  

A changing world 
During the good old days, team members frequently travelled to attend training workshops; often staying overnight in a hotel as the group bonding was a key part of the development and training process. Travelling to and from the venue was an easy process as the road system was not clogged up with traffic.

In 2010, travel is more of a challenge, especially if you have to venture onto a plane or motorway. Hotels have become more expensive and overall the ‘away’ day training model has become a lot more difficult to organise to get the right people to attend for the desired time to maximise the benefits. 

We have the potential for skills and middle management crisis, yet the traditional training model seems to have been abandoned, at best it is not working; we therefore, need to look to new ways to get team members engaged in the training cycle.  

Webinar future 
The computer is now a part of everyday life. It can be found in the majority of businesses and homes. It is also a tool that can be used for communications over large distances. 
In the ‘old’ days, the trainer and trainee both travelled to a desired central meeting location. In 2010, neither party needs to travel anywhere; training can be done in people’s homes or workplaces. 

Webinars have become the new opportunity in training. People register in advance, receive a workbook and then get involved in an interactive workshop. The webinar is highly effective for many skilled training areas, but will not replace the face-to-face training session where, for example, dexterity is important in mastering the skill.

Wii Training? 
How about using the Wii system as a training tool? The technology is now available so that we can develop dexterous skills as well using the computer at home or business. We are not heading for a crisis, but we are in a period of great change. In my own business, we are developing webinar training for our clients to reduce their travel and accommodation costs. In the past, we would present to a group of local people in a suburban hotel. But, during the last interactive session the delegates were sharing ideas from seven nations on four continents. The world has definitely changed.

John Stanley is one of the top ten percent of speakers in the world today. He is an acclaimed retail consultant and Western Australian Entrepreneur of the Year 2009. John is author of several marketing, customer service and retail books including the best seller “Just About Everything a Retail Manager Needs to Know”, his company is Western Australian Small Business Champion 2009 - Education and Training.    


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