As a trainer, you prepare for your workshop, set up the room, and distribute the course manuals and other training materials. The process works well, but what do you do with the leftover materials when you have fewer learners than expected? Well, I’d like to offer three suggestions that “R” very practical.
When you have extra materials, and the workshop will run again in the near future, reserve the materials for use in the next workshop. With increasing printing costs, this is a very cost-effective solution; however, it is dependent on the stability of the workshop. As long as the content doesn’t change, you can use the leftovers at a later date. As a safeguard, be sure to have a course version identified somewhere in the materials, such as in the table of contents, or in the lower left corner of each page. One example of a version identifier would be to put the month and year (e.g. April 2012). This method works until the course is updated. Once that happens, see my third “R.”
When you have extra materials and the next workshop may not run for awhile, or perhaps it’s a one-time training session, create a dedicated resource shelf in your training department’s work area. While electronic resources are great, keeping one physical copy of a manual will allow for easy reference while in the office. As a safeguard, be sure to keep each “version” of the workshop. You can document versions as described in my first “R.”
When you have too many extra materials for my first two “R”s, the next option is to recycle. This is a great solution, unless you are concerned about highly sensitive or proprietary information. In that case, you may need to shred those pages, and recycle the rest. The good news is that in some communities, you can even recycle shredded paper. You will need to contact your local public works department to find out the specific rules in your community. The other option is to use a shredding service, but be sure to confirm that they recycle what they shred.
Applying these three suggestions will help you manage your leftover materials. Reusing, refrigerating, and recycling will reduce costs while increasing availability of resources. Think of the 3 “R”s as “Training Tupperware!”
What do you typically do with your training leftovers?