Posted by Nisha Amin on Nov 19, 2018 2:33:37 PM




With the US Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday just days away, people are starting to get into the holiday spirit.  This can mean an extra pep in their step and tons of treats in the office.  This also means they are less likely to be engaged in new training content, less likely to retain that information and may simply not be in the office to experience the training event at all.

While completing training needs assessments, designing training material, testing your training or going through the recruitment, interviewing and selection of learning professionals around this time of year all make sense-the one mistake that clients continue to make is trying to roll out training in the last month or so left in the year.

Here are some factors to consider before planning and budgeting for a training event that will have to compete with the holidays.

Out of Office

The number one reason that training can fail, any time of year, is employee absence.  You don’t have the people, you can’t train them, simple as that!

With the holidays coming up, employees have likely already started booking time off.  If they’re not taking extended days, they may be choosing to take a few days here and there to take care of holiday gift shopping, or to extend their weekends by a day.  In addition, colder regions means snow is upon us and this can lead to people coming in late, leaving early to beat the traffic or choosing to work from home to be more efficient.

Trying to plan around out-of-office notices for in-class training or assigning deadlines for eLearning to be completed can become useless if you’re not going to achieve close to 100% attendance or engagement.


If you’re able to actually set up training in the last 40 days or so of the year, consider the forgetting curve that will be impacted even more so with the break that may follow your training.  Many employees find coming back to the office in January challenging when trying to get back into their routines.  Chances that they’ll recall and be able to apply the content presented to them just days or weeks before this break are low.  Not only can this lead to poor overall results of the training but also in a high cost to re train these employees on the subject matter in the New Year.

Empty Pool

If you’re going to try and hire a contract learning professional, from a trainer, to facilitator or an Instructional Designer, you may be hard pressed to bring someone on during the holiday season.  Waiting until the New Year to bring them on board not only makes sense as far as working with a larger pool of candidates but also because you’re likely to get more work done with your contract hires when its back to business as usual in January.


The last few weeks of the year bring with them a number of distractions from talk of the upcoming holiday party, to spending lunch online, shopping for deals.  Trying to engage employees in corporate training during this time can be impossible and a big waste of budget.  Employees that do have to complete training over this period may treat it as something to simply knock off their lists and not really take it for all its worth.  Again, with the lack of time that may follow the training before employees clear out for the year could be tight and follow up training as well as coaching may be left by the wayside.  A poorly engaged audience will lead to a failed attempt and may not be worth trying to squeeze in.

Use the next month or so to plan for your 2019 initiatives instead.  Using this time to outline your key targets and plan for effective employee training and development will be a much better use of the days that remain.

Topics: corporate training tips, training needs analysis, contract training consultant, new technology rollout

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