When many of us think of a "training" scenario, we usually relate it to our first couple of weeks in a new job or role (or training someone else new), or something that we request ourselves when we realise that we need certain skills or to brush up on something required in the office. We've usually had experience of group training, of course, but rarely do we think of its true benefits to save your company money. Here are five ways that training as a group can help your budget as a company:

1. Bulk buying is cheaper

The practise of bulk buying to save costs is often restricted to businesses who deal wholesale, or who at least have stock to shift. We very rarely think of this in terms of 'buying' courses for people, yet this is an excellent way to save money. Most training providers will have a discounted price for training thirty people instead of, say, two or three individually. It saves them time and money too, as they don't have to repeat the same training over and over again to every new individual who walks through the door. If you're booking training in bulk, you could also have the option for it to be delivered at your workplace, ensuring everyone gets trained "in situ" without having to pay for them to travel to another premises.

2. Prevention instead of a cure

If your staff get trained as a group, you may think "wait a minute, some people don't need this, or they've done it already". Maybe, but you can never predict when a skill can come useful further down the line. If you've booked a group training session on Office 2010, and only half of your staff use it currently, it's still worth training your entire personnel as the skill will always be useful in the future. What if someone goes off sick? Then you already have people trained up, on standby, to step in and use their skills in that role. Many people only book training after they have identified a gap in skills, whereas it would be a lot more cost effective to pre-empt this happening in the first place.

3. Better performance means better productivity

If your employees aren't meeting deadlines because they're struggling with something they're not trained on or aren't familiar with, then productivity will fall, no matter how good the rest of the company is. Training means better performance, and better performance means your business will run more smoothly as a result.

4. Productivity means more time for other tasks

If your company is more productive because everyone is fully trained in their role (and also possibly in other roles they may want to fill from time to time), then you'll be saving time. It may seem like a large chunk of work will be lost if you send your entire staff out for the day for group training, but you'll earn the time back tenfold when it comes to them being more productive as a result. As they say, time is money - save one, and the other will follow.

5. Group training means group support

If you sent your staff for training in dribs and drabs, then it's not as useful as if they had trained in a whole group. Why? When they return from the training, they can support each other better if they've all just been trained in the same thing. If someone didn't quite "get" one element of the training, usually you'd have to book a follow-up or at least seek advice from the training company. However, if everyone has been trained, colleagues can help each other with bits they didn't quite understand, or missed during part of the training. Group training can be great team building, too - as the attitude that "we're all in this together" can help.

Group training doesn't always spring to mind when considering missing skills in the workplace, but after seeing the benefits listed here, you may want to consider it carefully in the future.