13th July 2019

How Much Does Productivity Training Cost?

Training is an investment in your company’s engine – your people. Investing in training and developing your people has its price tag, but like any strategic investment, it pays for itself through a highly skilled, engaged workforce that fuels your company’s growth and profitability.

Okay, it’s an investment.

How much does productivity training cost?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is as annoying and ambiguous as you might expect – it depends. In order to make sure that you invest in a productivity training program that achieves your goals and at a price that works for your budget, let’s identify the various factors that influence the cost of productivity training.

Factors that Influence the Cost of Productivity Training

There are six factors that will impact the cost of your productivity training:

  1. Training delivery format
  2. Training duration
  3. Number of training participants
  4. Amount of training program customization
  5. Tools and resources provided to support behavior change
  6. Coaching

Let’s explore each of these factors so you can determine exactly what you need to accomplish your productivity training objectives and stay within your budget.


1. Training Delivery Format Options

There are three training delivery format options that impact the cost of your productivity training.

▪ Instructor-led

o This type of training is in-person, in a training room with one, two or sometimes three instructors.

o Instructor-led productivity training the most expensive option because it is conducive to high levels of participant interaction, enables the training facilitator to provide individualized participant instruction, as well as, real-time coaching and feedback on performance.

o Be prepared for the additional expense of travel fees for the facilitators to travel to your training location. Your training partner should be able to provide an estimate of these expenses for you.


▪ Virtual instructor-led

o This type of training is also facilitated by an instructor, but instead of teaching in a physical classroom, the facilitator is teaching virtually via a webinar, live meeting or video conference.

o Virtual instructor-led productivity training the second most expensive option because the training is still delivered from a live facilitator, however, the level of participant interaction and individualized participant feedback on performance is not as robust nor as frequent as in an instructor-led training program.


▪ Online

o This type of training is delivered via an online learning platform or learning management system. For example, Cornerstone, Skillsoft or Lynda.com.

o Online training is self-paced enabling the learner to complete courses at their own training pace and on their own schedule.

o The instructional content is delivered via videos, slide presentations, articles, reference guides, audio recordings and/or a combination of these modalities.

o Online productivity training the least expensive training option because the content is not delivered via a live facilitator and it does not offer individualized instruction nor real-time coaching and feedback on performance.

o Online training is an excellent delivery format if you want to scale the learning across a geographically diverse population or lower the cost per participant of your training.

o Be prepared for additional fees to set up a dedicated learning portal for your company or to connect your company’s learning management system to your training partner’s content.


2. Training Duration

The second factor that influences the cost of productivity training is the duration or length of the training program.

The quick rule of thumb in the training industry is that the longer the training program the more significant your investment. For example, if you want a six-month long productivity program for your sales team this will be more expensive than a half-day workshop.

Most training companies price their instructor-led programs on half-day and day rates and should be able to tell you how many days of training are scoped in multiple-month or year-long training programs.


3. Number of Training Participants

The third factor that impacts the cost of productivity training is the number of training participants.

The lower the number of participants the higher the price of your training. Why? Because of the high facilitator to participant ratio. For example, a four-day leadership retreat with ten participants will be more expensive than a sixty-minute webinar with two hundred participants.

If you have a large group to train, an online program or a virtual instructor-led training delivery format will enable you to scale the training cost effectively.


4. Amount of Training Program Customization

The fourth factor that affects the cost of productivity training is the amount of training program customization. The more customized and tailored the training program is for your organization and your team members the more significant your investment.

For example, think about the last time you bought a car. You probably had the option to add heated seats, a heated steering wheel, satellite radio, a DVD player, or even air conditioned seats, if you were willing to pay more for a car fit your lifestyle. I live in North Carolina where our summers are hot and humid. I really don’t like it when my pants stick to my car seat. So, air conditioned seats are a must have for me, and I willingly paid more for this option when I purchased my last car.

Now, you might be wondering what type of customization is available? At our company, like most training companies, we offer fully custom programs where we might do the following:

● Conduct stakeholder interviews

● Shadow top performers (this is one of my favorite parts of my job!)

● Learn client specific software programs

● Interview clients and/or vendor partners

● Survey team members, groups or entire divisions

● Conduct focus groups

I recommend using a combination of these options in order to design a training experience that aligns with our client’s culture, values, workflows and vernacular.

If this is at the high end of the investment continuum, the lower end would be a semi-custom approach where you customize the participant exercises, role plays or select specific training content modules for a workshop.

Your training partner should be able to offer a menu of customization options and the investment for each option so you can create the training experience that achieves your training objectives while staying within your budget.


5. Tools and Resources Provided to Support Behavior Change

The fifth factor that impacts the cost of productivity training is the tools and resources that are provided to support behavior change.

Impactful, successful training should result in observable, sustainable behavior change. You’re investing two, of what I consider your most precious resources, your team member’s time and your company’s financial resources so you need to realize a return on your investment.

At the end of any training experience, participants should think, say or do something differently as a result of the training. So, it’s important that as part of your training program you receive tools and resources to support you and your participants in changing behaviors, integrating new behaviors into your culture and sustaining new skills and behaviors.

The more tools and resources that are included in your training program to support your participants before, during and after the training event the higher your training investment. And, if these tools are customized for your organization expect to pay more for them.

The least expensive tools and resources are scalable and off-the-shelf, or part of your training partner’s existing content library. For example, a series of emails with a link to an article that appeared on the training company’s blog page sent to workshop participants to remind and reinforce key training concepts is less expensive than a custom manager coaching guide includes coaching agendas, video links, quick reference guides and coaching questions.

Consider reserving a portion of your training budget for tools and resources that support observable, sustainable behavior change because this will impact your training ROI.


6. Coaching

The final factor that impacts the cost of productivity training is whether or not coaching is included as part of your training program. Coaching is a powerful tool to support sustained behavior change, as well as, individual and group accountability.

Coaching can be provided in a variety of formats – one-on-one, group, in-person and virtual. The most expensive type of coaching is one-on-one in-person and the least expensive is group virtual coaching.

As work with your training partner to design your productivity training program, explore whether or not the investment of coaching is necessary to achieve your training objectives. You may be able to leverage lower priced tools and resources to support behavior change and individual and team accountability. We often recommend coaching if the project requires a culture change, leadership development or the redesign of workflows.


The Cost of Productivity Training

The cost of productivity training is impacted by how it’s delivered, the duration, the number of participants, the amount of customization, the tools and resources provided to support behavior change and if coaching is included in the training program.

So, what can you expect to pay for productivity training?

We’ve seen customers pay as little as $2,600 for a virtual, sixty-minute instructor-led stand-alone webinar to $500,000 for a fully custom, year-long productivity training program that included a robust tool-kit of behavior change resources, like a custom app, as well as, one-on-one coaching and group coaching. However, many clients fall between the range of $25,000 to $200,000 for a productivity training program.

Ready to explore productivity training for your team?

Let us help you design a productivity training program that enables you to achieve your training objectives, supports sustainable behavior change and delivers a substantial ROI all within your budget.