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Training programs

Developing a training program is a great investment in terms of time and money, but it can also be very financially rewarding for a business. Training programs help to give employees information that they can use to enhance their skills, learn new skills, or operate within the guidelines of a corporate structure. Giving employees the opportunity to accomplish these things also helps to improve productivity, cut costs, and improve workplace morale. Before you develop a training program, think about what you want the program to cover and how you want it to be delivered to trainees.

Basic or comprehensive
After you select a training topic, you need to decide if the training program will be basic or comprehensive in nature. A basic program would usually cover information relevant to beginners or focus on only one aspect of a topic. An example of a basic training program would be a session on how to compose and send an e-mail. That topic is very narrow and focused on one outcome. A comprehensive training program would include a lot of information about a topic. A good example of a comprehensive training program would be a one-day session on writing, responding to, and storing e-mail for best results. This would cover the topic of e-mail in more depth than a basic training program.

Individual or group
Another thing you need to decide is if the training will be delivered individually or in a group. Individual training is best if you are demonstrating how to do something and a person needs to stand right next to you or in front of you to see how it is done. Group training sessions are suitable for a wide variety of topics. If you want to use computer-based training, individual training makes sense. If you want a lot of employee participation and interaction, group training is a must.

Room setup
How the training room is set up can really make a big difference in how well a training program is received. For long programs especially, you want to ensure that the seating is comfortable and that tables and chairs are arranged so that trainees can see the trainer and all materials being used. If a lot of interaction will take place, round tables may be better than long tables, since trainees will have an easier time facing each other and working together. Rows of chairs without tables would be fine for a lecture-based training session where participants are simply listening to a speaker.

Program length
Program length is another important consideration when you are developing a training program. You want the program to be long enough to accommodate the information you need to give, but you don't want to stretch it out so long that trainees get bored or end up leaving. You may need to break a very long session into several shorter sessions for best results. If you do have a long session planned, be sure to plan times for people to get up and stretch or go outside for some fresh air. This can keep trainees from getting too tired and failing to retain the information being given.

Program format
The format of the program is also something you need to consider during training program development. Some training programs involve a lecture with a question-and-answer format at the end of the session. Other training programs involve a lot of role play activities. The format of your training program will determine how long the program needs to be and how the room needs to be set up for best results.

Developing a training program can be very time-consuming, but if it's done correctly, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Delivering training to employees can make them more productive and efficient, and even improve their job satisfaction. This can result in reduced costs and increased profits for your company.

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