By: Kim Moshlak on April 4th, 2014

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The Cost of Leadership Training

Business Management & Strategy

Throughout my travels to clients and other events, I do a lot of facilitating for Helios HR and the number one question I am asked is, “How much does it cost? “ My answer is always the same…” it depends.” Training programs are offered in many forms, and there are several areas to consider when looking at the options for how much it will cost and the effectiveness.

Cost Factors of Leadership Training:

1. Is standardized “off-the-shelf” training sufficient, or will you need customized leadership training? Consider your motivation for this leadership training.  If you are attempting to “level-set” your leadership team so that everyone has the same base of knowledge, a standardized group class may work.  If your team has specific leadership deficiencies you are trying to overcome you may consider a customized solution.  Opting for a customized solution will permit you to have a program designed to assist with improving those deficiencies.  Whatever you choose, it will be important to assess the effectiveness of the training to ensure you are seeing results.

2. Where will you hold the class? Holding the class at your location will most likely be the most cost-effective from a facilities perspective.  You may be responsible for paying for the facilitator’s expenses, as well as the fee, but you will not have a venue charge.  If you send your employees to leadership training, you will be responsible for reimbursing them for travel expenses. However, keep in mind, taking managers out of their normal environment generally leads to better attention and participation.

3. How long would you expect to dedicate to this project? Obviously, you should expect the cost to rise with the length of the program.  I know of leadership training courses that are conducted via blocks of time from a couple of hours to as long as a week.  Some courses are offered in one sitting, and others may occur over the course of several weeks (usually with some sort of assignment between classes).  Recently, I delivered leadership training for a client as a “lunch and learn” for one hour per week, spanning 10 weeks.  It really just depends on what works for your organization and what you are trying to accomplish.

4. Who are you contracting to do the training? It should go without saying that the organization with which you contract may also affect the cost of the training.  The only recommendation I have is to research the organization to be sure that the training offered meets your needs, both from a professional growth and budgetary perspective.

As someone who has studied the areas of career and leadership development for most of my career, I would say that any training is helpful, but the most effective training is that which touches the participant in different ways.  The more tailored the training is to the needs of the individual the more engaged he/she will be.  Take the time to determine not only what the organization needs, but also the most effective method of delivery to get the best results.  Good luck!