Because, if you’re running a training course or event it’s because you care and invest in your staff. You may not always get the credit you deserve out there, but you will do here at Lime Towers. We believe in taking the time to develop our people and love businesses, like yours, that see the importance of individual and team development to make the corporate boat go that bit faster.
Now it’s time to really push the boat out, to go all the way, and to not just create a ‘nice’ training environment, but the perfect training environment that will really support your company objectives. It’s the difference between delivering training on the go, between life and work; or deep, meaningful learning, that sticks, and that delivers the right return on this investment in people.
So, what does a dreamy, blissful 24 hours of training excellence look like? Here’s our view…
- For us, it goes without saying that we think the training should go off site. Training done in the office meeting rooms is almost always compromised. It can be easily interrupted; the desks, the computers, the e-mails and the phones, are all within too easy access. But also, the environment is familiar, and any emotions (good and bad!) associated with work stay with the trainee. So, get them off site, in to a neutral venue, and a chance to start fresh
- We don’t mean to keep your trainees away from their families and friends, but we do want them to start the day of training in the best possible shape, and sometimes this means a stay the night before. Those with families may even appreciate the time away, the chance to self- indulge, settle the mind. This is non-essential, early risers may find it just as relaxing to leave early, so long as they arrive focused, it’s up to them
- It’s important to underline at this stage that the days of the ‘corporate junket’ are well and truly over. Delegates who read ‘a couple of days in a training venue’ as ‘a chance to party with my work friends’ are living in a 1990’s dream world. This is about finding the mental space to take on information, develop as individuals and come away with tangible benefits that can be put into practice
- There are great residential venues out there and you can find a few in our own portfolio. Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre, Yarnfield Park and Sedgebrook Hall are all really good options for on site bedrooms
Enter the Venue
- Training isn’t just learning, it's inspiring. Modern business training is as much about creative thought, problem solving and strategic insight. So, give them the right sort of setting that inspires them… one that is unique, unusual and exciting
- Training is also about the company’s investment in their people, so both the business’s brand values and the objectives of the training, should be integrated into the venue. Looking to promote leadership? How about HMS Belfast? Looking to integrate teamwork? How about Twickenham Stadium, the Home of England Rugby. The venue sends a message from the outset, so choose wisely
Start a Long Day in Style…
- One of the many reasons to choose a specialist off site venue is that they do a huge amount of research into what works for the delegate. Breakfast is more than a 'full English’ or an ‘espresso-and-run’, it is a way of feeding a mind for a long day of learning. Packed with fruit, vitamin intense, nutritious, delicious and healthy options; its modern day ‘brain food’, served to fuel body and soul
Switch off and Start
- One of the key objectives of good learning is to try and get trainees to leave their work / life responsibilities at the door (and to pick them back up on the way out!). This means the out-of-office’s need to be in place, and customers, clients and team members understand that that person is ‘off limits’ for the day
- Helping to keep this layer of protection in place should be an early start; maybe 30 mins before the start of a normal day. It means that the first business action of the day is the training, and encourages the trainee not to sneak in e-mails and phone calls before the day begins
- For maximum cut off from the outside world, we’d also suggest the Churchill War Rooms - if it kept Winston Churchill away from trouble, it will work for your trainees!
Natural Light and Space
- Another good reason why specialist venues work really well is that they are designed with training in mind. Rooms are light, airy, with plenty of oxygen feeding the mind. Natural daylight is good to have but not necessary, so long as breaks are available to go outside and see the sky (whether it be blue or grey!)
- We’d advocate lots of breaks. Its proven that our minds work in short sharp bursts, but also that we need time to digest our learning, so instead of two long sessions, split up by tea / coffee breaks, we think the more breaks the better. These don’t have to be punctuated by food, but simple ways to take the group out of the room, see new surroundings and digest information
- Although, while we’re talking food, just remember to treat your food like fuel. Keep your trainees well stocked up, with food that fuels the brain. Try and steer away from caffeine and carbs, think about smoothies, fruit, and maybe something interesting or inspiring to look at on the plate
- And while we’re on topic of venues, wouldn’t it be nice if, for every break, the trainee got a taste of some inspiration? A walk around the National Railway Museum, or the Imperial War Museum (North) may just be the ticket!
- At this point we’d like to play our cheerleading role, not just for ‘better’ events but brilliant trainers. A brilliant, inspiring venue can be a real asset, but without a good trainer it's redundant. Pick your trainer well, get recommendations and referrals, they will carry the day and leave your trainees inspired and fulfilled. They are worth their weight in educational gold!
- Lunch is really important. It’s a chance to refuel body and mind. Again, try and steer away from carbs to avoid the 3pm lull synonymous with heavy meals. But equally make it beautiful and delicious, it’s a treat and it’s a chance to remind trainees that you care
- Make the food inspiring; 42% of all event feedback is about the food, it triggers conversation, encourages integration; it’s a great support trick for the trainer to keep educating even as people eat
Work / Play
- OK, so it’s not a corporate junket, but it is a treat. After a full day’s hard work (and training is hard work!) maybe work in a small treat. Again, this is where a great venue can help, and even the treat can carry a message. A tour of the venue (see Hever Castle or Hatfield House), or a chance to walk in the gardens could be a pleasant break after taxing training activity
At the End of the Day…
- A good training session leaves delegates incredibly tired. It's learning outside of the comfort zone and a good trainer will be encouraging a thorough work out of the brain muscle. It means that the delegates leave vitalised but tired, so think about how you can support this. It could mean an evening meal at the venue, or a chance for an end of the day meal to reflect in more relaxed surroundings
- That’s not to say everyone should have two nights away. Some people will need to get home and that’s perfectly reasonable. Just be considerate of their state of mind when they leave and give them the chance to wind down and fuel up
So, for us, this is perfect training heaven. It can’t always be done, and may not always be an option, but if we’re trying to give our people the very best experience, it will be noticed and will make that investment work that little bit harder.
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