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5 Questions to Ask Before You Train Your Team


Justin Williams

Investing in your team’s professional development is a great way to attract talent, increase performance levels and sustain your competitive advantage. Effective trainings make learning new skills and new technologies both a fun and efficient experience. Over the years, Big Nerd Ranch has conducted hundreds of trainings for major enterprises (like Facebook) and startups (such as Nextdoor) alike. Along the way, we’ve learned that the success of trainings depend on how well the organization understands its own needs. If you’re considering a training session, be sure to ask yourself these five questions first.

1. What are your goals?

Always start with the big picture. What are you looking to accomplish with this training? Are you trying to prepare employees to take on a more senior role? Fill in a skills gap required to take on a new project? Get up to date with the latest advancements in tools and platforms? The answers to these questions will help you identify the best training company for your needs.

2. What type of training is right for you?

Maybe you need everyone on your team to learn a new set of skills, and quickly. In that case, consider a corporate training course, where your entire team receives the same materials and instruction in a time and place that works for them. Or perhaps you have a smaller subset of employees who need to advance their skills in an intensive training. In that case, the bootcamp approach is a better fit.

3. What does your team already know?

Take stock of the skills your team is already bringing to the table. You may have graphic designers who want to learn mobile design or developers who want to learn how to build for a new platform. Identifying your team’s strengths will help you choose the right training to fill in the gaps. At Big Nerd Ranch, we offer a range of courses—intermediate and advanced, from web development to iOS, Android, design and more—to ensure your team gets the individualized training it needs.

4. What does your team wish they knew?

An effective way to win major loyalty points with your team is to demonstrate you care about their growth and development. In fact, a recent Gallup study found that 87% of millennials say that professional development or career growth opportunities are very important to them. Take advantage of this opportunity to ask your team members which skills they’d like to add to their portfolio and what types of projects they want to undertake. Engaging them in the process is mutually beneficial and will go a long way in building team loyalty.

5. How will you define success?

Whether you’re hoping your team improves productivity or learns a new language, it’s important you have a solid understanding of your desired outcomes from this training. If you’re clear about your goals and metrics of success, you’ll be able to select a training company who can cater their courses to satisfy your objectives.

Have questions? We’re here to help. And we know what we’re talking about. Nineteen of America’s 25 most popular apps were built at companies whose engineers were taught by Big Nerd Ranch, and we’ve trained over 14,000 students in our bootcamps.

All that to say, we can help you figure out how to get the best possible training for your team. If you’re looking to get started on that process, fill out a free needs assessment, and we’ll be in touch!


Justin Williams

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