The Business Coach with Laura Murphy: “To train or not to train”

Question: “I keep on being pressured to run an out of office training day. With money so tight I’m not sure if this is the best thing to do.” Dan

Answer: One of the first things that hits the cutting room floor when there’s financial pressure is training. When you consider that your staff are probably your most expensive resource and critical to business success then that’s a false economy.

There’s many ways to train, ranging from an internal peer centred event to corporate away days. Critical to any decision about how you train though, is what do you want out of it? Once you’ve answered that, then you can decide the best approach.

Whether you decide to go for an out of office or internal event there are some basic things you should consider. Rather than a vague idea for a “team building day” dig deeper to find out what the issues are. So focus on the outcomes required: whether it’s to celebrate success, seeking views on a new operating system, brain storming ideas for future products, allowing satellite team members to share practices, or to resolve inner tensions. A structure can then be put together to support achievement of the outcomes. Use an in-house training team or commission a facilitator.

So that you all get the best value ensure that everyone knows what’s expected of them prior to the event both in terms of preparation and commitment to engage with the learning. And let them know what the dress code is. Factor in some post-event activity to ensure that any learning is transferred back into the workplace.

Finally, factor in fun. Enjoyment will embed learning and motivate people to commit to the outcomes.


Laura Murphy is the founder of mtc2 ltd, a management consultancy, training and coaching company. Laura is an organisation development specialist and business coach. If you have a problem then contact her at

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Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality