Should a Training Course work Members in the Evening?

1 Wherever a Training Course lasts for two or more days the question arises: Should the Organisers arrange course activities in the evenings?

2 In general, because of the “fixed” costs of training (e.g. travelling to and from the Course) most Training Courses should include activities during the evening. These activities should involve the most active, participa­tive part of the Course. Certainly no Training Course should (normally) schedule a lecture for an evening session.

3 Some people oppose the idea of working in the evening at Training . Courses. Those who have attended Courses which use useful/stimulating evening courses tend to accept it. Those that have attended sessions where no training occurs in the evening tend to reject the idea of evening ses­sions. Probably those that have had little or no experience will accept it, if asked to do so; especially if the program makes the point that the evening sessions will consist of active participative sessions.

4 However some Course Members have very strong feelings against evening sessions. They state that their Employers should not aim to work them in the evening.

5 Probably the use of evening Training does help to make better use of the “fixed” costs of getting the Trainees together and keeping them together. However this statement’s accuracy will depend on what benefits the Trainees get from the evening sessions. Some people argue that they cannot learn at night. However some people have found to their own self satisfaction that they can work for such long hours and continue some learning.

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The Amount of Time to give to Training

How Much Time To Give To Training – Versus Other Activities

1 Organisations have to make arbitrary decisions on the time they give to training. No one can really say how much time an Organisation should allot to training courses for a particular group of people.*

2 It proves fairly simple to determine some of the costs of training, but quite difficult to estimate the benefits. This point underlies the above statement – “the decision rates as a fairly arbitrary one”. It depends upon an Executive’s opinion of the worth of particular training.

The Amount Of Time To Give To A Particular Course

3 The above point also applies to a particular Course. However for a particular course, it proves easier to identify more specific items to help make wise decisions. The following lists some of these items.

The Need to Keep the Organisation Operating

4 Organisations should look at the circumstances surrounding the intended Trainees. They should consider the problems which arise when these people leave their work positions.

5 Example. A department consists of twelve people. Senior Management, deciding on the Course, will often say – we cannot allow all members to attend a session longer than one hour during working time. We cannot afford to leave the Department unmanned for longer than (say) an hour.

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A Role for your Conference Leader/Facilitator


1 Help the group make decisions – not necessarily wise decisions.

Some Sub-Objectives

2 Help the group with the procedures used during discussions.

3 Avoid making content contributions.

4 Encourage that only one person speaks at once.

5 Encourage people to contribute only to the official topic of the moment. (Avoid Butterflying.)

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Exercise – Working with Other People – Better

Section A:  Objectives of the Exercise

1 Identify pieces of behaviour which other people do (or do not do) and you would prefer them not to do (or do). These pieces of behaviour must occur in group situations where the Group Members have some common objec­tives.

2 Examples of such Group Situations (a) A Formal Meeting – Coun­cil, Board of Directors, (b) A Conference to exchange information and/or to make decisions.

3 Identify things which people could try to do which would -

(a) reduce/eliminate the effect on them of the unwanted piece of behaviour carried out by others.

(b) reduce/eliminate the pieces of behaviour which they do (or do not do) which annoy others.

4 The achievement of the above two objectives should help to achieve the objective: Help a group of people work together – better.

Section B:  Procedure – Iindividual

Location of the Behaviour

5 Read the following objectives as all referring to a group situation where people will communicate with each other and have some common objec­tives.

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Role-Playing Exercise – Promotion from Within

Role for Factory Manager

1 Use your own name and deal with the following situation.

2 The Management of Harrison Engineering Company considered they ran a forward-looking Company. They had introduced many new ideas and modern methods over the last few years.

3 A few months ago you ordered a notice put up on the notice board. It said that the Company planned an expansion for the near future. Since the Company liked to promote from within, the Company would provide supervision training to those who could qualify, i.e. pass certain preliminary tests before a certain date.

4 From the list of people who sent in their names and took the tests, you personally selected five people. These people enrolled in an evening Supervision Course at a nearby College.

5 In the meantime, the expansion of the Company continued. Long before the completion of the Supervision Course an urgent need arose for a Super­visor to cover a new area. You picked a man (Tom Bird) off the floor to head this section. Certainly he had not submitted his name for the Super­vision Course. However you knew he had worked as a Supervisor in a previ­ous job.

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