One of the things I do in my business is leadership training. I do individual coaching or company presentations but my favorite form of training is seminars, where I have a large group of people to interact with all at once.

COI Feb. 21 2013
K.W. Barrett via Compfight

Every company and every person needs some kind of training. In many businesses, the training is up front and then everyone is good to go because the job required of them is fairly simple. In my much younger days I had a part time job where I sat next to a machine that put out these rubber things; I never had any idea what they were. My job was to wait until a big got full, pull out the bin and pour these things into a box, then put the bin back until it filled up again. I did this until the box got full, and when that happened I'd close the box and put it in another place where someone else would pick up all the full boxes later on. Not much more training was required to do that.

These days, there are more technical aspects of a lot of jobs. Also, those who read this blog know my feeling about how many bad leaders I believe there are and how a lot of people could benefit from leadership training.

I'm big on training. When I was an every day director I was always evaluating what my staff was doing and set up training schedules for at least every 3 months. Sometimes I led the training; sometimes I had a supervisor lead the training. Every once in awhile I had someone from the outside come in to do training on specific things.

These days I'm also the president of a medical billing organization that's affiliated with a national organization. What we do for our meetings is have someone come in and talk about current or past trends in all fields that have to be dealt with; in essence, training large groups of people in their chosen profession. Yes, I believe in training.

Below are 5 questions that companies need to consider when thinking about training for their staff; how will you answer these?

1. Do you need training? Always the main question because if the answer is "no", you're done.

2. What is the extent of training you need ? Do you need to start from scratch? Do you need refresher training? Are there specific people who need something that everyone doesn't need?

3. Can someone within the organization provide the training, and is it ethical? The "ethical" question is an interesting one. It's not legal ethics as much as job ethics. For instance, where my wife used to work they wanted her to train people who did other jobs on what she did. She was not only unqualified to do it but it wasn't even legal for her to do it. It wasn't until she left that leadership over that department was informed that what they were trying to do was wrong.

4. How much money do I have for all the training I need to do? This is usually where companies get tripped up when it comes to training. They tend to undervalue the expertise of the people doing the training and thus are shocked when presented with an estimate for training costs. Think of how much work would go into your having to train large groups of people, which not only includes compiling things but rehearsal time, and then see if you think training isn't worth the expense.

5. Can I avoid not doing any training? Big one to have to deal with but I've always looked at it this way. If the thought has even crossed your mind you're already 75% sure you probably need it. Of course doing your own evaluations might prove you don't need it but you have to do something, which means either finding out or doing the training just in case. By the way, in some professions it's mandatory to provide training whether it's needed or not.