(For answers to your questions about web-based
training, visit our On-Line Training FAQ.)
Why is technical staff training useful?
Many organizations do not have a training department or staff dedicated
to technical staff training. As a result, there may be many different
ideas about how to train staff and what kind of training is best. To get
this discussion started, we will list a few of the reasons we think training
- Technologies Change: Even traditional,
manual techniques are constantly being improved, and instrumental techniques
are always in a state of change. Don't get left behind!
- Trained Staff Are More Efficient: If you
know how to use a particular technique or instrument properly, you will
probably be more efficient than someone who doesn't really understand
what they are doing. Well-trained laboratory staff know which parameters
are more important, and which ones have little impact on data quality.
- Trained Staff Make Fewer Mistakes: This
is mostly about improved decision-making skills. Staff who understand
the technologies they are using are more likely to make good decisions
when they encounter problems or unfamiliar situations.
- Trained Staff Provide Better Flexibility:
Cross-training can be a powerful tool for dealing with changing resource
- Trained Staff Feel Better Job Satisfaction:
In our experience, those labs that make an effort to train their staff
often have fewer problems with job satisfaction, morale, employee retention,
etc. Training can't completely eliminate these issues, but it does send
the message that the organization cares about it's employees and their
- Companies That Invest In Training Are Often
More Successful: Don't believe it? Read this article
from Training Magazine. The 2004 "Top 100" companies have
established an advantage over their competition by improving revenue,
productivity, and quality. Some of these companies have used our training
programs, and we can see the result of this attitude in the quality
of students that we teach.
Is on-site training cost effective?
Yes, in certain situations. Many training seminars are available at
professional meetings (we even teach some of them!). However, registration
costs are usually about $400/day, and you must add on travel costs and
lost work time. After the course, you still have only trained a limited
number of people. On-site training can cost around $250/person/day, everyone
will be trained, and lost work time is minimized.
We use our own people to train our staff. Isn't
this more efficient?
If you are currently using a senior scientist to train your junior
staff, you are probably spending at least $75 - 100/hour on senior staff
time. If there is any additional preparation required (lecture notes,
slides, etc.), that time should also be factored into your training costs.
For example, in our experience it can take 10 hours or more of preparation
time to prepare one hour of quality lecture material. Can you afford
to lose a senior scientist for this long? Also, not every scientist is
a good teacher, or has the teaching experience necessary to design and
present high quality training material.
We already have an extensive training program.
Why should we switch to on-site training?
If you are completely happy with your current training program, and
the resources required to run it, then on-site training may not offer
anything better. However, if your senior staff and training staff are
already busy, and you want to increase your staffing, this is another
tool to have available. On-site training is not capacity limited. There
are a number of general topics that can easily be adapted to your specific
training program, which frees up your staff to focus on the more complex
issues. Customized presentations can also be prepared.
For more information about our on-site seminars,
For more information about our on-line training, click