Solving the Absentee Problem

What do you do when you designed your program for 20 participants and only 12 show up?

Such a disappointment.

You have a pile of customized handouts and you prepared your session based on being able to separate into five groups of four. Now you have to figure out how to cover all the discussion topics with smaller or fewer groups and run activities with the same level of effectiveness.

This problem is best handled beforehand. While planning content and design with the manager, ensure two things:
  1. That the program will be presented with clear benefits for the attendees. Potential participants should know that the skills taught will have immediate value back on the job and that to miss the learning opportunity is to reduce their effectiveness.

  2. That you have the manager’s support and understanding that their team’s attendance is critical throughout the session. Only then will the full benefit of their investment in learning and development be realized.
And of course, any good instructional designer knows to build activities that can flex with the situation and still get the job done.

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