When to say no: Five questions to ask about your training program

say noSouthwest Airlines became one of the most popular U.S. airlines by saying yes when other airlines said no. Like yes to waiving checked-luggage fees, for example. But as this brief essay in The Washington Post pointed out, perhaps it’s time Southwest, in order to remain competitive, learned when to say no more often.

Does your training program face the same situation? Are you saying yes too often? What deserves more of your focus and what needs to be shelved? Could knowing when to say no create more value for learners? Ask yourself these five questions to determine if you need to say no more often:

  1. Do you have a high-percentage of no-shows for some classes?
  2. Are you spending as much time preparing for low-attendance classes as for more popular ones?
  3. Are you charging enough? Or if you don’t charge, should you?
  4. Are you offering the same class too often?
  5. Are you adding classes when only a small minority of trainees request them?

Perhaps it’s time to eliminate classes that have a high percentage of no-shows. That would allow you to redirect your attention to improving the quality of other training opportunities. You may also need to look more closely at how many people would take advantage of proposed new training.

If you’re only charging fees to cover your training expenses, it maybe not enough. Higher fees can denote more value and thus better attendance.

Also, make sure your cancellation and refund policies are clearly understood by students. It may be necessary to tighten policies, such as eliminating full refunds if attendees cancel within one week of the class. Or eliminate refunds altogether for no-shows.

If you provide internal training which carries no charge, you can still increase perceived value in other ways, like issuing certifications and giving access to performance review transcripts.

Learning Stream can help you with some of these issues, including automated reminders and add-to-calendar functionality so no one forgets to show up. You can also set up cancellation criteria and automatically issue certificates based on rules you set. If you would like to know more, we would love to hear about your challenges. Just use the comment box or contact us at info@learningstream.com.