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The L&D Forum

Hi DPG community!

I'm hoping you can help.

We currently run a number of training sessions through our Academy function with lots of interest where employees can sign up to the training sessions they wish to attend on dates that work for them. Almost all of these sessions are fully booked within a matter of minutes!

However when it comes to the actual session taking place, numbers fast dwindle and on several occasions, no-one has shown up at all!

Any ideas on how we can change this and engage employees beforehand? We have previously tried a reminder email beforehand noting the key points that will be covered but this doesn't seem to be working.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance,


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  • Great Video Ady,

    Love the conversational presenting concept.


    • Morning Howard. Hope you're very well. 

      I enjoyed this video too. As Nigel said at the end of the interview, I like how Martin finds stuff outside the usual thinking and shares it with the Learning Now TV audience each month. I think when I get chance I'm going to back track through his previous LNTV interviews and see what other inspiration I can find from him.

  • Hi Georgie

    I've just wrote this following a really good interview on Learning Now TV by business journalist Martin Couzins. Something he said in here aboit rewards made me think about your question.

    It's just here: http://community.dpgplc.co.uk/learning-professionals/should-learnin...
    Should learning teams need to be thinking more like marketing teams?
    ‘Learning teams need to be thinking more like marketing teams’ according to award winning business journalist and curator Martin Couzins. Talking on…
  • Hi Georgie

    Do you know why they don't show? Is it that they are keen but managers fail to release them as they don't see the value? I find that you need to engage with managers as well as employees to ensure they turn up. How about running some info sessions as tele conferences with managers and employees to explain what's happening why it important and what a waste if no one shows!

  • Hi Georgie,

    I think the issue here is in the fact that training is on a "Wish to attend" basis! Can it be that the training is seen as an easy option, a break from the norm etc? Clearly I do not have all the information but what is the business need here that identifies training will be the solution for that individual.

    You say training is booked within minutes, do you ever ask for a justification when booking, i.e. "How will this help you in your role" type question. Some questions to consider are, does the Line Manager have any input or authorisation on who books what? Is the training funded from a central HR budget or the line Managers?

    I used to have a Director  who stood by the door when we had meetings and watched us all come in, for those who were late he would then announce how much they had cost him in salary, and on costs, etc by delaying the meeting. It was a light-hearted reminder that we had wasted his money, but it was effective, as Mike comments below what are the consequences?

    Learning needs to support the business, so from your short intro to the problem I would look at the learning needs activities and see how this relates to the training that is run and who is booked on to these sessions. How was the individuals learning need identified that gave then access to that training? Is there a clear link, then between the training that is being run and business objectives?



  • Hi Georgie,

    Really interesting post and I'm sure this will resonate with others. Few things spring to mind and some initial ideas:

    • They might be not turning up because there is no repercussions / consequences - think how you can discourage people not to turn up e.g. 3 strikes and they can't come on training for 3 months.
    • Are you getting any support from line managers in enforcing them attending or how does the training link to their development plan / 1-2-1 with their line managers?
    • How does the training link to their performance and how is it tracked?
    • Formally make it part of their objectives to attend training they book on to...
    • Do you know how much ££ is costs to deliver the training - if they don't turn up they are wasting resources, time and money.
    • Are there repeat offenders - links to first point around 3 strikes but go and talk to them and find out why they didn't turn up.
    • Is the time / dates right - is something else happening or are there some unknown barriers - are they too short / too long?
    • Are the training sessions covering the right sort of things - is this across the board or only on particular sessions? 

    Just some initial thoughts to get the conversation going :)

    There was also something that might be relevant around using evaluation strategies & KPI's to give the investment in training more kudos and strength. http://community.dpgplc.co.uk/blog/using-a-kpi-to-get-the-managers-...

    Hope this helps 

    Using a KPI to get the managers to protect the training investment
    The biggest driver of them all to get success, change and impact in your organization out of a training event is to have your participant and their m…
    • This is great - thanks Mike!

      Using a KPI to get the managers to protect the training investment
      The biggest driver of them all to get success, change and impact in your organization out of a training event is to have your participant and their m…
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