Corporate Training FAQs

Choosing a trainer for your team is a difficult job. It can be a big expenditure that can pay off exponentially…or not at all. Many people who are tasked with vetting trainers, and even ultimately deciding on training, do it rarely or never. This page is designed to give you some insight into the process, and answer some common questions, to make you a more educated consumer.

Who should be involved in the decision?

Choosing a training program, and trainer, is a leader’s job. A Learning & Development professional is a big help but unless they have final approval authority, the decision-maker should be involved from the beginning. If your company doesn’t have an L&D professional on staff, then the head of the group to be trained, plus the final decision-maker, should all be involved for the best decision. Tasking a junior staffer with collecting bids is unlikely to produce the best solution. Read this article [link] for more on who should be involved, and why.

How much does productivity training cost?

Pricing for corporate training typically varies considerably based on the provider, the size of the group, the needs to be addressed, the goals and objectives of the training, and the training length. The low end is usually around $2,000, and the high-end is $25,000 or more. Factors to consider include:

  • Is this training for technical skills or “soft” skills? Technical skills tend to be less expensive.
  • The uniqueness of the training (Is it specialized? Does it have a new, unique, or cutting-edge approach to the topic?)
  • The expected results/return on investment. How important is it to you that the training actually change the behaviors of the participants? (See Maura’s approach to maximizing return on investment here [link].)
  • The training provider— is the specific trainer a contract trainer or a subject-matter expert? The provider company ranges from the following options, in order of (typically) lower-price to higher-price.
    • A large provider who offers training on a variety of topics.
    • A large provider who offers specialized training
    • A specialized boutique firm
  • Is any pre-training consultation included? (This contributes a better training fit, and is typically offered by more specialized providers.)
  • Is there any post-training follow up? (This contributes to long-term behavior change.)
  • Is the training off-the-shelf or prescriptive (customized)? Off-the-shelf training offers general skills training, and is typically less expensive. Prescriptive training is utilized to address an organization’s specific challenges, and can cost more initially, but the long term return on investment can be greater.
What will I learn in training with Maura Thomas?

Maura offers mainly prescriptive training. The content of customized programs will vary depending on the needs of the group, but typically includes some or all of the components of Empowered Productivity™.

Do You Teach Time Management Training?

Sort of. The concepts in Maura’s training are commonly referred to as “time management principles.” However, it is her belief that “time management” is an outdated concept that has far outlived its usefulness, and a more relevant frame for the 21st century is attention management. You can learn more about “attention management not time management” in Maura’s popular Harvard Business Review article, Time Management Training Doesn’t Work, and in her TEDx Talk: Control Your Attention, Control Your Life.

Everyone is Different! Do You Tailor Your Training to Our Team’s Work Style?

Maura has been in the productivity field for over 20 years, and is very familiar with most “time management” systems and techniques. She has learned that the ones that work are very specific. It’s her informed opinion that the true principles of peak productivity are the same regardless of your work “style.” If you were to take flying lessons, your pilot trainer wouldn’t say, “let’s see how you like to fly the plane and then we’ll tailor the lessons to your style.” It’s the same with dance, or sports, or any other skill. The underlying principles are the same for everyone. As you become inherently productive, you will develop your own, more advanced techniques which will suit your personal needs and situation. It’s the basics, however, that must be mastered first, and this is what’s covered in the Empowered Productivity™ System – the foundational principals of peak productivity. Having said that, Maura’s corporate training programs are prescriptive, and tailored to the needs of your team. For more on why your team’s work style is less relevant to training, read Kaizen for Personal and Team Productivity. For more on how Maura’s training will be tailored to address your team’s specific needs, see the next question, “How Long is Training? How Do I Know it Will Be What I Need?”

How Long is Training? How Do I Know it Will Be What I Need?

Maura’s on-site training time typically ranges from a half-day to two-full days, and is dependent on her clients’ needs and expectations. She will help you to determine a training length that will meet your objectives and take your budget into consideration, or be very frank with you if she feels that she can’t meet your needs within your budget. Maura is not a fit for every organization

Her work also includes pre-training consultation (beginning with the very first call, before we’ve even decided to work together.) There is no charge for any pre-training call, even if we ultimately decide not to work together. Maura considers this part of the work necessary to qualify her clients, and will help you to gain clarity about the type of training you should purchase, and the type of provider who will be the best fit. Speaking with Maura will help you to make a more informed training purchase. This is also why vetting trainers is a leader’s job [link to same article as above, in LI/Medium/blog].

Maura’s trainings also include 30-90 days of individual follow-up support. This is unusual but is part of Maura’s commitment [link] to maximizing return on your training investment.

This means that work with Maura is usually a 30-90 day event, rather than just a one-time training.

How Do I Know Your Training Will Work For My Team?

Productivity metrics for knowledge workers are hard to measure. For the highest return on investment, any training requires behavioral change. For peak productivity, participants must unlearn their old, unproductive habits, and relearn those that will make them the most effective. This is not easy. Maura has two clients with every engagement she accepts:

  1. The company that pays for the training; for this client, Maura is focused on long-term return on investment. Maura will work with leadership to cover the five components of successful corporate training [link].
  2. The individual participants in the training; for this client, Maura is focused on behavior change. Polling of past clients indicates that better than 94% of attendees are still using their new System a year later, and more than 98% are still using at least part of the System.
Do You Offer Microsoft Outlook Training or Training on [XXX Software]?

Not exactly. Maura offers training on the Empowered Productivity System, which she then teaches you to apply to whatever tools you are using, including Microsoft Outlook, Mac tools, Google tools, plus smartphones and tablets. She helps you bridge the gap between behaviors and technology, so proficiency in Outlook, or whatever tools you’re using, is a by-product of productivity training. Maura teaches the principles of peak productivity, and believes that your brain is not the best place to manage the details of your life, so you need a support tool. She is very fluent with most PIM applications (personal information management) and can typically train you on your tool of choice, or she will help you select the one that’s best for you. Since Microsoft Outlook is so prevalent, this is the most common support tool that she incorporates into her training. However, most other PIM tools can be accommodated, including Mac and web-based tools. Maura Thomas is one of the few trainers in the country who offers productivity training for Mac users as well as PC users. Anyone can show you the mechanics of Outlook or other PIM applications, it’s the why and when of using Outlook’s features that makes the Empowered Productivity system so powerful. Proficiency in Outlook (or your PIM of choice) is another by-product of Maura’s productivity training programs, but we don’t offer “just” Microsoft Outlook training. For more on this, see Maura’s article in the Harvard Business Review, Until You Have Productivity Skills, Productivity Tools Are Useless.

Why Choose Maura Thomas?

Maura Thomas has been in the productivity training industry for more than 20 years. She’s an experienced trainer, not just a “do-er,” so she knows how to explain the information in a way that’s easily understandable and employable.

Throughout her career, she has worked with solopreneurs, Fortune 100 companies and every size in between, in virtually every industry. She founded her Austin, TX based business in 2003 and Maura is very active in the local community. The Empowered Productivity System™ is proprietary, proven, continually refined and updated, and developed from extensive industry experience. References are gladly provided. Also feel free to peruse our Reviews page. This method has been so successful that publishing giant John Wiley & Sons invited Maura to literally ‘write the book’ on personal productivity. That first book, Personal Productivity Secrets and her second book, Work Without Walls, serve as the support material for her general and leadership trainings, respectively.

What’s the Process?

01. Fill out the form below, email directly to [email protected], or call 424-226-2872.

02. After answering a few questions, you’ll receive a link to Maura’s calendar to set up your free 60-minute consulting call with Maura, the training decision-maker, and anyone else in your organization involved in the process.

03. After this call, if there is a fit, you’ll receive a proposal for training to address the needs and expectations outlined in the call.

What’s the First Step?

Just fill out the form below, email directly to [email protected], or call 424-226-2872.

Inquire About Corporate Productivity Training Now!

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Ever since I took your training, not only have I been more organized and on-task, but I have also been sharing with others here. I am a huge believer—you have created a life-changing System!

McKinsey Lowenberg

Senior Executive Assistant, CUNA Mutual Group

I am amazed at the changes in my life since taking your training and reading your book! I work less, I feel more in control, my stress has gone down, I sleep better, and I’m getting better results. It’s changed not only my work life but my personal life as well. My team is reporting similar results. Thank you so much!

Denise Verdicchio

Senior Director, Public Sector, SHI International Corp.