We are living in challenging economic times at the moment and every pound a business spends has to deliver for them. That situation inevitably leads to the question of whether spend on training should be regarded as an investment or a cost.

Most companies are doing some form of training: some of it good, some not so good but more often than not the individual training workshops are generic and rarely joined up to form a tailored, company-specific programme for that particular company in the way they need it to be done.

By addressing capability development businesses can ensure that any investment in training and development works as hard as possible. The aim should always be to create a joined-up programme geared to the specific needs and challenges of a particular business, making sure that every pound spent delivers and gives that business every opportunity for success.

There are several aspects to this. First, it is essential to fully understand the needs and requirements of your business from both an organisational point of view and an individual’s point of view – both the strengths and gaps in capability.

At Bridgethorne Training Academy, we can do this by looking inside the business, conducting various self-assessments and line manager assessments and also by talking to customers. Then, once you have understood the strengths and capability gaps, you will be best placed to build and design a programme, based on what training is specifically required and how best for it to be delivered: workshops, eLearning or digital webinars, for example.

Finally, and in our experience the aspect that is most neglected, the importance of embedding and leveraging that training within the culture and DNA of the business. This is where the real return on investment takes place. This is where more focus is needed by most companies to ensure that great training converts into behavioural change and, in actually impacting on the bottom line, is a genuine investment rather than a cost.


Paul Weiss, Director of Capability Development, Bridgethorne Training Academy