Wherever you look at the moment, more and more businesses are moving their services, and support, online.

And for the most part, this is good news.

You have 24/7 access to product information, you can place orders outside of the traditional 9-5, and you don’t need to wait for someone to get back to you as much.

So why then, does our industry insist that the best way to do Training is still in-person?

If you’re a lover of stale ham sandwiches & soggy biscuits, then this post isn’t for you.

But after years of conducting in-person training sessions ourselves, we’ve realised that in-person training sucks, and we’re here to tell you why…

1. It’s Expensive

Most manufacturers in the industry pride themselves on providing free training to their customers.

But, if you think about it, in-person training is never truly ‘free’.

Sure, you may not be directly charged by the manufacturer for the training, but there are hidden costs that you may not have thought about, such as…

The cost of taking your engineers off site for a day

Say for example you have 10 engineers working for you, & 7 of these engineers need some training on the systems they’ll be installing shortly.

As you know, in-person training takes the best part of a whole day, including travel time. So that’s 70% of your engineer workforce, not available for an entire day, collectively that’s a week of lost work!

Not to mention that you obviously have to pay the engineers for their training day as well. Using the average engineer’s salary of £32,000, that works out to be about £15.50 an hour, on average (it could be much more).

So, using the above situation as an example, you would have collectively spent…

0 Days
Being Trained
in Wages

For just 1 day of in-person training.

And that’s just for one manufacturer, and 7 employees; there will likely be 1 training day per year for every manufacturer, and more than 7 employees that need training, so the annual cost is much greater than this.

In the situation above, we didn’t even account for the cost of lost work. Could a small system have been installed in that day? Or perhaps a site handover completed? Are you now behind by a day on your other projects?

Surely it would be cheaper for you, to have training fit around your engineers, rather than the other way around, so they don’t have to take a whole day off, and can train whenever it suits them?

So no, free in-person training is never truly ‘free’, not really…

2. It’s Not Accessible

You’ve seen the posts…

‘Come to our brand new training facilities on the South Coast, on the 28th September to learn about how to install our Door Entry systems’

Well that’s great, if you’re free on the 28th September, and live nearby.

But what if you’re based in Newcastle, and aren’t free on that date?

  1. Do you have to travel the length of the country to get trained?
  2. Do you have to book a nearby hotel for the night before?
  3. Do you have to rearrange prior commitments to be free on that date?

As you know, engineers are always busy on different sites, with barely enough time to take a lunch break, let alone taking a day away for training.

Trying to get multiple engineers to be free on the same day, to all travel to the same place, potentially half the country away, is a logistical nightmare.

And from experience, even when that’s all been organised; last minute, emergency call outs mean that usually there are a few engineers that can’t make the training day anyway.

What do these employees do? They still need to be trained, so do they have to book a training day for a later date?

If so, that means that for a period of time, there would be a skill mismatch in your engineer workforce (some with training, some without), this makes managing your engineers, and deciding which sites they work on, even trickier than it already is.

In our industry, training should fit around your engineers, rather than the other way round.

Engineers should not be pressured to attend a training day on a specific date, at a dedicated training facility, instead, they should be able to learn wherever they are, whenever they want to, to make training as accessible as possible.

3. You Don’t Remember It

Training is boring… at least, that’s what people say.

And who can blame them, a typical training day consists of a 4-6 hour long, over-used PowerPoint presentation, which is broken up by occasionally getting your hands on some equipment, and having a go for yourself.

The problem is, you have so much information dumped on you in a short period of time, that you can’t really take it all in, and you’re trying so hard to follow what’s happening, you end up not taking any notes (we know you don’t, don’t forget we’ve led countless training days in the past).

Traditional in-person training days don’t account for people who want to learn at their own pace, in a way that works for them.

The long training lectures with the occasional practical task only help verbal learners (who learn by being spoken to), which account for around 30% of the population; & physical learners (who learn by getting their hands on equipment), which account for an additional 5% of the population.

Of the Population are Visual Learners

The majority of learners are visual (they learn by seeing information), meaning that a lecture isn’t the best way to teach the majority of the population, even if they are lecturing from a PowerPoint, because visual learners don’t need the distracting lecture, they just need to see the PowerPoint.

In general, people remember…

Of What They See
Of What They Hear

So it’s no wonder you don’t remember much of what you learn on a Training day.

The majority of people aren’t engaged, as they’re not being taught in the way that best works for them, and that means that the information being taught isn’t being remembered.

Engineers should be able to learn in the way that works best for them, rather than being forced to learn in the way that is easiest for the manufacturer to teach.

4. You Can’t Refer Back To It

As Barry Scott would say… ‘BANG and the knowledge is gone’.

As we mentioned before, we know that so much information is dumped on you in a short period of time on these in-person training days, that you don’t have the time to takes notes to refer back to later.

So, you have just one chance to remember as much as you can, and then when you get to site, just hope you can follow your nose for the bits you can’t remember.

Which, doesn’t always go well.

Sure, you might remember the basics, but you won’t remember everything, and there will come a point where you get stuck.

So what do you do? Ask for another in-person training day, where this time you’ll make sure to take notes? Not likely.

Instead, you’ll probably get in touch with the Technical Support team, and they’ll help walk you through your install, as they should.

But wouldn’t it save you so much time, if you could just quickly refer back to your training when on site?

With an in-person training day, you can’t do this, you get one chance to cram in as much as you can, and then you’re on your own.

Not all engineers learn this way, a lot of them like to learn at their own pace, with the knowledge that they can fall back on their training, anytime.

In-person training prevents this.

We can’t expect engineers to be human memory banks, remembering everything they see, hear & do.

Training should be flexible enough to provide engineers with the confidence that they can refer back to it, at any time.

5. It’s a Glorified Sales Pitch

You know how it goes…

‘Attend one of our training days at our offices, and learn how to install our systems’

So you go along, and for the first 2 hours or so, they waffle on about how great their system is, what it can do (which often isn’t even related to your project), and why you should always be installing it.

When all you’re here for, is to learn how to actually install the system.

But unfortunately, you’re subjected to a sales pitch, which you have to pretend to listen to, before they actually get on and explain how to install & program the system.

So the first 2 hours of any in-person training day, is just a sales pitch, which they say is necessary as it ‘helps you to really understand the system better’, as they have one eye on their commission bonus.

If an engineer is attending a training day, they don’t want to be sold to, they just want to learn how to install & program the system, and get back out, as quickly as possible.

Are There Actually Any Benefits?

Sure there are.

In-person training does allow you to get hands-on with the equipment, so you can have a go yourself at installing & programming a mock system.

But that’s really it, and as we know, that only helps 5% of the entire population learn (as they’re the physical learners).

So yes, there is a benefit, but that small benefit does not outweigh the significant drawbacks associated with in-person training, such as the overall cost, the lack of accessibility, and the fact that engineers don’t remember a lot of what they learned, for a variety of reasons.

Basically, in-person training just sucks.

So, how do we conduct our Training then, if not in-person?

Well, you can find out by clicking below…

Find out more about Urmet Training