Examining the Impact of Team Size on Training Outcomes

In my years of professional experience, I’ve participated in countless meetings varying widely in size. Some were tightly knit gatherings that left us energized and enlightened; others were sprawling assemblies where voices were lost, and little was accomplished. This personal observation sparked a curiosity: How does the size of a team affect its ability to learn and perform effectively during training sessions?

The objective of this research is to understand how the size of a team influences training outcomes within organizational settings. This study is significant as it delves into a key aspect of workplace learning and development, offering insights that could optimize team training solutions and enhance group performance.

Background Information

Team size is an important factor in shaping the effectiveness of training programs, with studies highlighting its impact on learning outcomes and group dynamics. The complexity and nature of tasks assigned to teams often dictate the optimal team size, influencing overall performance and individual contribution levels.

“Team size has a direct impact on training outcomes. In my experience, it is important to have a 'sufficient' number of team members, but not more than that. However, it is important to note that assigning a value to 'sufficient'' can be tricky. Some businesses think having more members increases productivity, but it may start decreasing after some point. Imagine that your team has 15 members who are given training. One of the members feels hesitant to ask questions in a large group setting. However, if he is placed in a group with fewer members, he may feel less anxious about seeking clarification to ensure his understanding of the information provided.”

Harrison Tang, Co-Founder, Spokeo

Methodology Overview

This research report adopts a mixed-methods approach to thoroughly investigate the impact of team size on training effectiveness. By utilizing surveys targeted at professionals from diverse industries and structured interviews to delve into individual experiences, this study aims to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. This comprehensive methodology allows for a robust analysis of team dynamics and the effectiveness of various training strategies across different sectors.

Literature Review

The literature on team dynamics and social learning offers rich insights into the mechanisms through which team size influences training outcomes. Drawing from foundational theories in social psychology, we explore key concepts that underpin this research:

  • Group Dynamics Theory: The principles of group dynamics suggest that the size of a group significantly impacts its function and performance. Kurt Lewin, often considered the father of group dynamics, highlighted how group structure and dynamics influence behavior and learning within the group. His work continues to inform modern understanding of how team sizes can be optimized for effective learning and collaboration .
  • Social Learning Theory: Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory provides a framework for understanding how people learn in social contexts through observation, imitation, and modeling. This theory is particularly relevant when considering how knowledge and skills are transferred in team settings, emphasizing the role of observational learning and interpersonal interactions in shaping behavioral changes .
  • Social Cognitive Theory: This theory, further developed by Bandura, integrates behavioral, personal, and environmental influences to explain and predict learning and performance in group settings. It supports the hypothesis that smaller teams may provide a more conducive environment for active engagement and personalized feedback, leading to better learning outcomes .

These theoretical frameworks provide a foundation for investigating how different team sizes may affect training effectiveness, suggesting that smaller teams might offer more favorable conditions for interactive and engaged learning, which are crucial for effective training outcomes.

Statistics on the Impact of Team Size on Training Outcomes 

In an effort to understand how team size influences training effectiveness, Skill Success conducted a survey among a diverse group of participants. Below, we categorize our respondents to give insights into the demographics and professional backgrounds involved in the study.
Entry-level employee: 28%

  • Self-Employed and Freelancers (categorized as ‘Other’): 24%
  • Senior Manager/Executive: 21%
  • Mid-level Manager: 14%
  • Trainer/Educator: 14%

1. What size of team do you most frequently work with during training sessions?

Survey results on the question 'What size of team do you most frequently work with during training sessions?'
  • A majority, 52%, work with small teams of 1-5 members.
  • Teams with 6-10 members are the setting for 17% of the respondents.
  • 14% are most often found working with larger teams of 16-20 members.
  • A smaller group, 10%, work with teams of 11-15 members.
  • The fewest, 7%, work with teams larger than 20 members.

These findings suggest that smaller teams are the most common context for training sessions among the survey participants. This preference for smaller teams could be related to factors like the perceived effectiveness of training, the ability to personalize instruction, or logistical constraints.

2. Based on your experience, which team size do you find most effective for training outcomes?

Statistics on the most effective team size for optimal training outcomes

This graph presents the preferences of survey respondents regarding the most effective team sizes for training outcomes:

  • The majority, 41%, believe that the most effective team size for training outcomes is a small group of 1-5 members.
  • A little over a quarter, 28%, find that a slightly larger team of 6-10 members is most effective for training.
  • Close to a quarter, 24%, report that a mid-sized team of 11-15 members is most conducive to effective training outcomes.
  • Only 7% of respondents think that larger teams of 16-20 members are most effective for training.

These results suggest that smaller team sizes are generally perceived to be more effective for training, with a clear preference for intimate groups where presumably more personalized attention and interaction is possible.

3. In which team size setting do you feel participants receive adequate individual attention from the trainer?

statistics on the optimal team size for individual retention

The data indicates respondents’ perceptions of how team size affects the level of individual attention participants receive from the trainer:

  • The largest group, 45%, feels that participants receive adequate individual attention in the smallest team settings of 1-5 members.
  • A significant 31% think that a team size of 6-10 members still allows for sufficient individual attention.
  • Around one-fifth, 21%, believe that even in teams of 11-15 members, the participants can get adequate attention.
  • Very few, just 3%, feel that adequate individual attention is possible in larger teams of 16-20 members.

These figures suggest that there is a consensus that smaller teams are better for individualized attention during training sessions.

“Personalized training is more cost-effective and only truly feasible with a smaller team like ours at Thooja - so I may be biased (unless you have a massive budget). This approach allows us to delve deeper into each employee's role, ensuring a thorough understanding of what's expected. This would not be possible when there are dozens or hundreds of people being trained at once. Moreover, it enables us to tailor our teaching methods to align with each individual's preferred learning style, maximizing the effectiveness of the training. It makes onboarding feel much more welcoming for our team and helps them feel like they're not just another cog in a machine. Training within a small team means new employees also have the opportunity to have any questions answered immediately.”

Ultan O'Callaghan, CEO, Thooja

4. In your experience, which team size most positively impacts learning outcomes?

The Optimal Team Size for Training 

Previous research consistently suggests that the ideal team size for maximizing training effectiveness and overall team performance ranges from 4 to 7 members. This size allows for efficient communication and coordination without the drawbacks observed in larger groups.

Studies indicate that once a team exceeds 7 members, its effectiveness diminishes to the level of a smaller group of around 4 members. This phenomenon highlights the inefficiencies that can arise with larger teams, such as duplicated efforts or diluted accountability.

In software development, Lawrence Putnam and Ware Myers identified that small teams, specifically those between 3 and 7 members, complete projects with significantly less effort compared to larger teams. Notably, the smallest range within this group (3-5 members) was found to be the most efficient, requiring 33% less effort than teams with 5-7 members.

  1. Richard Hackman, a Harvard professor, reinforced these findings by determining that the optimal team size, based on extensive feedback, averages around 4.6 members. This size facilitates intimate collaboration and streamlined decision-making processes.

Additionally, the military effectively utilizes “fireteams,” which consist of 4 members, to capitalize on the advantages of smaller team sizes. This structure is favored for its ability to maintain high levels of coordination and rapid responsiveness within various operational contexts.

Related Article: 10 Innovative Strategies to Enhance Team Collaboration in the Workplace

Analysis and relation to Skill Success’ Survey Result on Team Training Size

The findings from these studies align closely with the observations and experiences detailed in our survey on the impact of team size on training outcomes. Both bodies of research underscore the importance of maintaining smaller teams to optimize learning environments and enhance team dynamics.

5. Overall, how satisfied are you with the training outcomes based on the size of the team?

From the data provided, respondents’ satisfaction with training outcomes relative to team size is as follows:

  • A majority of 52% express being very satisfied with the outcomes in smaller teams of 1-5 members.
  • 28% are satisfied with the outcomes in small to medium teams of 6-10 members.
  • 21% have a neutral view of the outcomes in medium-sized teams of 11-15 members.

Building on the insights discussed above, the subsequent survey results further underscore the significant impact of team size on the effectiveness of training sessions. These findings reinforce the patterns observed in initial responses, highlighting a clear preference for smaller team configurations.

1. Efficiency of communication

  • Small teams (1-5 members): Rated as “much more efficient” by 48% of respondents. This indicates a strong preference for smaller teams where direct communication is likely easier and more effective.
  • Medium teams (6-15 members): As the team size increases to between 6 and 15 members, the efficiency decreases gradually from 24% finding it more efficient to 21% rating it as just efficient.
  • Large teams (>20 members): Only 7% feel communication is “much less efficient,” which could point to challenges in managing interactions and ensuring everyone is heard in very large groups.

2. Team dynamics

  • Smaller teams: Favored by 48% for fostering closer, more collaborative relationships. Smaller teams are perceived to enhance intimacy and cooperation.
  • Medium-sized teams: 45% see these teams as balancing diversity of thought with closeness, suggesting a potential optimal size for blending varied perspectives while maintaining a communal feel.
  • Larger teams: A minority (7%) recognize the advantage of broad perspectives but note potential drawbacks in personal interaction, which can be crucial for cohesive team dynamics.

3. Participant engagement

  • Smaller teams (1-5 members): Seen as most conducive to high engagement, with 52% noting higher participation rates, likely due to the increased ability of each member to contribute meaningfully.
  • Medium to larger teams (6-20 members): Engagement reportedly declines as team size increases, with only 10% feeling engaged in larger settings, possibly due to diminished personal involvement or overshadowed contributions.

4. Effectiveness of feedback and assessment

  • Smallest teams (1-5 members): Highest effectiveness reported at 38%, where feedback can be more personalized and detailed.
  • Small to medium teams (6-15 members): Effectiveness decreases slightly but remains relatively high (34% and 17% respectively), suggesting that as teams grow, maintaining effective feedback loops becomes challenging.
  • Large teams (16-20 members and >20 members): Markedly less effective, with feedback processes struggling to be impactful in larger groups.

The Optimal Team Size for Training 

Previous research consistently suggests that the ideal team size for maximizing training effectiveness and overall team performance ranges from 4 to 7 members. This size allows for efficient communication and coordination without the drawbacks observed in larger groups.

Studies indicate that once a team exceeds 7 members, its effectiveness diminishes to the level of a smaller group of around 4 members. This phenomenon highlights the inefficiencies that can arise with larger teams, such as duplicated efforts or diluted accountability.

In software development, Lawrence Putnam and Ware Myers identified that small teams, specifically those between 3 and 7 members, complete projects with significantly less effort compared to larger teams. Notably, the smallest range within this group (3-5 members) was found to be the most efficient, requiring 33% less effort than teams with 5-7 members.

Richard Hackman, a Harvard professor, reinforced these findings by determining that the optimal team size, based on extensive feedback, averages around 4.6 members. This size facilitates intimate collaboration and streamlined decision-making processes.

Additionally, the military effectively utilizes “fireteams,” which consist of 4 members, to capitalize on the advantages of smaller team sizes. This structure is favored for its ability to maintain high levels of coordination and rapid responsiveness within various operational contexts.

Related Article: 10 Innovative Strategies to Enhance Team Collaboration in the Workplace

Analysis and Relation to Skill Success’ Survey Result on Team Training Size

The findings from these studies align closely with the observations and experiences detailed in our survey on the impact of team size on training outcomes. Both bodies of research underscore the importance of maintaining smaller teams to optimize learning environments and enhance team dynamics.

Training Team Size: Balancing Preferences and Effectiveness

The choice between smaller and larger teams should be informed by the training objectives, content, participant profiles, and desired outcomes. 

Small teams are often favored for their intimacy and the personalized attention they can provide, which typically translates to higher satisfaction and perceived effectiveness in communication, engagement, and feedback.

However, it’s crucial to recognize that there are scenarios where larger teams might be more appropriate. The decision should be based on the specific needs of the training program and the participants involved.

“There’s definitely the Goldilocks effect with team training—finding that “just right” balance makes all the difference in learning outcomes. You want a team small enough that participants don’t get lost in the crowd or struggle to stay coordinated, but you also want the team big enough to foster diversity of thought and keep the conversation moving.”

David Ciccarelli, CEO & Founder, Lake

Wharton scholars emphasize that team size should not only consider the number of participants but also the nature of the task and the required coordination. 

For example, smaller teams may be preferred for tasks needing tight coordination, whereas larger teams might be suitable for tasks where individual contributions aggregate independently. 

Tailoring the team size to the complexity and coordination needs of tasks can significantly enhance training effectiveness and ensure that each team member’s potential is fully utilized.

“I've discovered that team size significantly influences training outcomes. Small teams often facilitate personal attention and detailed feedback - I've utilized this approach in my Sportsify Pickleball Academy. However, larger teams offer the advantage of peer learning and increased competitiveness, which can ramp up the participant's motivation and performance. It's crucial to strike a balance. With my Scuba Diving programs, I've experimented with diverse team sizes and found that a medium-sized team, approx. 10-12 participants, often yields optimal results. The key is to adapt training methods to the team size, ensuring every participant's learning needs are catered to, whether in a small, medium, or large group.”

Marc Massad, Velocity Paddle, Certified Pickleball Trainer & IFP Pickleball Ambassador

Here are some considerations for organizations when deciding on the optimal team size for their training sessions:

When to opt for smaller trainings

  • Detailed or specialized topics: Smaller training groups are ideal when the subject matter is complex or specialized, requiring deeper discussion or individual attention. This format ensures that participants can receive personalized feedback and clarification, making it easier to address specific questions or challenges.
  • High participant engagement: In situations where active participation is crucial, such as hands-on workshops or simulations, smaller groups allow for more meaningful interaction and engagement. Each participant has greater access to the instructor and can practice skills more frequently during the session.
  • Building relationships: Smaller settings are conducive to building trust and camaraderie among team members. They are particularly effective for team-building activities where understanding individual strengths and weaknesses is essential.
  • Sensitive issues: Topics that involve sensitive discussions, such as diversity training, conflict resolution, or management feedback, often benefit from a smaller group setting to create a safe and open environment for honest dialogue.

“One of the key advantages of having a smaller team size is the increased flexibility and adaptability when it comes to training. With fewer team members to coordinate and fewer schedules to accommodate, it's often easier to schedule training sessions, tailor content to individual needs, and provide personalized attention to participants. This flexibility allows us to focus on the specific skills and knowledge gaps within our team and deliver training that is relevant, engaging, and impactful.”

Max Shak, Founder & CEO, nerdigital.com

Below is a list of the advantages of having smaller teams in trainings: 

  • Increased engagement: Smaller groups often facilitate higher levels of participation and interaction among team members. This can lead to more engaging training sessions where everyone has the opportunity to speak, share ideas, and ask questions.
  • Personalized attention: In smaller teams, trainers can provide more personalized attention to each participant. This allows for tailored feedback and support, ensuring that individual learning needs and gaps are addressed more effectively.
  • Enhanced collaboration: Smaller teams can foster a more cohesive group dynamic. Members are more likely to form strong relationships, which can enhance trust and open communication. This environment is ideal for collaborative learning and problem-solving.
  • Faster learning: With fewer people, the pace of training can be adjusted more flexibly, often allowing the team to move through material more quickly or spend more time on topics that are particularly challenging.
  • Increased accountability: In a small team setting, it’s harder for individuals to “hide.” Each member’s contributions (or lack thereof) are more visible, which can increase accountability and encourage active participation.
  • Better conflict resolution: Smaller teams can manage and resolve conflicts more effectively. With fewer personalities to manage, trainers and team leaders can address disagreements and ensure a harmonious learning environment.
  • More relevant examples: Trainers can use examples and scenarios that are more directly relevant to the team’s specific context. This relevance can improve comprehension and retention of the material, making the training more impactful.

When to opt for larger team trainings

  • Broad topics for general awareness: Larger training sessions are suitable for introducing broad concepts or updates that apply universally across an organization, such as company-wide policies, new software tools, or general compliance training.
  • Limited resources: When there are constraints on time, budget, or trainers, large-scale trainings can be more cost-effective. Using methods like lectures or webinars, organizations can deliver content to a large audience efficiently.
  • Cultural change initiatives: For initiatives aimed at shifting the organizational culture or for major rollouts that require uniform understanding across many teams, large trainings ensure that everyone receives the same message at the same time, promoting consistency.
  • Celebratory or motivational events: Large gatherings can be motivational or celebratory in nature, useful for boosting morale or unveiling major company milestones or achievements.

“In larger teams, collaborative learning becomes increasingly important. Encouraging team members to share knowledge, insights, and best practices fosters a culture of continuous learning and peer-to-peer support. Group discussions, workshops, and team-based projects can enhance engagement and facilitate knowledge transfer across the team.”

Max Williams, CEO, herobot,app

Larger team meetings also offer distinct advantages. These gatherings bring together a wider array of participants, each contributing unique benefits that enhance the overall effectiveness and reach of the session.

“It might appear unconventional, but larger groups create a dynamic learning space filled with varied questions and situations, mirroring the diverse queries from our customers. This variety speeds up the learning process, as team members draw on each other's knowledge and experiences. Given the ever-changing landscape of Medicare insurance, with its shifting regulations and options, a larger team captures a wider array of these updates. Members quickly share insights on different topics, enriching the collective understanding and fostering a culture of teamwork crucial to our field. In conclusion, for insurance training, especially on Medicare supplements, I've found larger teams to be incredibly effective.”

Russell Noga, CEO, Medisupps
  • Diversity of ideas: Larger groups can offer a wide range of perspectives, enriching discussions with diverse insights that might not surface in smaller groups.
  • Enhanced problem-solving: With more participants, teams have access to a broader skill set and varied experiences, which can lead to more creative solutions to complex problems.
  • Networking opportunities: Large meetings provide a platform for networking, allowing individuals to connect with colleagues across different departments or disciplines, fostering professional relationships.
  • Increased resource sharing: Bigger groups facilitate the sharing of resources and best practices among a wider audience, enhancing learning and development for all participants.
  • Boosted morale and inclusivity: Large meetings can make participants feel part of a significant endeavor, boosting morale and promoting a sense of inclusivity and belonging within the organization.
  • Cross-functional collaboration: These meetings encourage cross-functional collaboration and communication, breaking down silos within the organization.

“The size of your team is arguably as important, if not more so, than the training material you create. You want your team to get the most out of any training protocol, therefore, you need to target that protocol toward a fixed team size for best results. Too many team members and they'll be disengaged and bored. Too few team members, and you'll lose them to frustration and overwhelm. When training in a team environment, take the time to craft a training protocol that fits the size of your team and keeps everyone engaged.”

Dan Gallagher, Registered Dietitian & VP of Operations, Aegle Nutrition

Key Factors Influencing Team Training Group Size

“When assessing the impact of team size on training outcomes, several factors are pivotal for success, including the delivery environment, the scope of objectives, trainer availability, and the method of engagement. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, understanding these variables can guide optimal training setups.”

April Petrey, Principal Consultant/Coach, Allonsy Innovation, LLC

Several factors can influence the size of a team during training sessions, each playing a crucial role in determining the most effective training group size for achieving specific learning outcomes:

1. Training objectives

The goals of the training session can significantly impact the ideal size of the team. For instance, sessions aimed at fostering detailed technical skills or deep discussions benefit from smaller groups that allow for more personalized attention and interaction.

2. Nature of the content

Complex or sensitive training content often requires smaller groups to ensure that participants can engage deeply and ask questions comfortably. In contrast, more general knowledge or overview sessions can be effectively delivered to larger groups.

3. Participant interaction

The desired level of interaction among participants affects group size. Smaller groups enhance collaboration and engagement, making them suitable for workshops where interaction is key. Larger groups may be more appropriate for lectures or presentations where interaction is less critical.

4. Resource availability

The availability of trainers, facilities, and budget can constrain or expand the size of training groups. Limited resources might necessitate larger groups to economize on costs, while abundant resources might allow for more intimate, small-group settings.

5. Learning methodology

Different teaching methodologies work better with different group sizes. For example, hands-on learning and simulations are more manageable with smaller groups, while theoretical lectures can be delivered to larger audiences without diminishing effectiveness.

“Our hybrid approach combines both large and small teams based on training needs. Smaller groups suit technical skills training, allowing for hands-on practice, while larger teams are ideal for conceptual sessions.”

Alvin Poh, Chairman, CLDY

6. Group dynamics

The dynamics within the group, such as the mix of personalities and the level of existing teamwork, can also dictate the optimal group size. Smaller groups may help in managing dynamics more effectively, ensuring that all voices are heard and integrated.

7. Feedback and assessment needs

If the training requires individual assessment or personalized feedback, smaller groups are preferable. This setup allows trainers to observe and interact with each participant more thoroughly.

8. Cultural and organizational context

The culture of the organization and the standard practices within an industry or sector can influence what is considered an appropriate training group size. Some cultures or organizations might favor large, inclusive sessions, while others might prioritize small, focused groups.

Skill Success’ Insights on Team Training Size 

At Skill Success, we pride ourselves on offering a superior perspective that goes beyond the surface. Our commitment to deepening understanding and enhancing practical knowledge allows us to provide insights that are not just informative, but transformative. Maria Magat, our CCM Lead, highlights the effectiveness of small team dynamics in training:

"When examining the impact of team size on training outcomes, it's evident that small teams often yield more significant results compared to larger teams, in line with adult learning theories. According to theories such as andragogy, adults benefit from a self-directed, experiential learning approach, which can be more effectively facilitated in smaller team settings. Best practices for optimizing training outcomes in small teams include fostering open communication, encouraging active participation from all members, and providing tailored support to address individual learning needs. Ultimately, focusing on small team dynamics can lead to more effective training outcomes and a more cohesive, knowledgeable team, aligning with principles of adult learning theories."

Maria Magat, Content Management Team Lead, Skill Success

With a focus on the real challenges and opportunities in professional development and learning, we equip our users with the tools they need to succeed in an ever-evolving landscape.

Expert Insights on Impact of Team Size on Training Outcomes 

Interviews with training experts confirmed the trend that smaller teams often exhibit greater adaptability and engagement during training sessions. However, despite recognizing these benefits, a handful of experts recommend finding a balance, suggesting that combining the advantages of both small and large team dynamics can optimize training outcomes.

1. Smaller teams encourage accountability, larger teams offers diversity 

small team showing training outcomes through brainstorming

“It is true that the size of a team can have a subtle effect on training results. One fact is that members of smaller teams frequently feel more accountable to one another. When there are fewer people on the team, every person contributes more to the group's success, which boosts motivation and engagement throughout training. Furthermore, smaller teams can have more cohesive dynamics, which facilitates easier cooperation and communication. This may lead to improved information retention and a more effective training procedure. Larger teams, however, can provide a wider range of viewpoints and experiences, which can enhance the training process. Finding a balance between the advantages of larger, more diversified teams and the benefits of smaller, more intimate teams is crucial for optimizing training outcomes.”

Carl Rodriguez, Founder & Owner, Head of Logistics at NX Auto Transport

2. Understanding the concept of cognitive diversity

“An interesting aspect often overlooked in discussions about the impact of team size on training outcomes is the concept of "cognitive diversity." On one hand, it’s obvious that you have more minds in the room, but those minds always think differently. In smaller teams, cognitive diversity is naturally limited simply because fewer individuals contribute their unique perspectives. However, this can lead to a tightly knit group where deep, nuanced understanding of subjects is developed through intense, focused discussions. The magic happens when these diverse perspectives are harmoniously integrated, leading to innovative solutions and a richer learning experience. Conversely, larger teams introduce a broader range of cognitive approaches, potentially enriching the team's collective problem-solving abilities. Yet, this benefit can only be realized if the team has strong communication channels and a culture that genuinely values and integrates these diverse viewpoints. Without these, the potential for innovative outcomes can be stifled under the weight of logistical challenges and surface-level agreement.”

Keca Ward, HR professional, humanresource.com

3. Different people learn differently

"For some, the chance to absorb a lecture individually, take notes, and then ask follow-up questions is perfect. Others need to learn in a social environment and ask lots of questions, while some may feel too insecure to ask those questions in a large group. This is why it's important to allow for different groupings during any training system. We use a combination of video overviews, group review of those videos, and 1:1 mentoring to make sure everyone learns in a way that works for them."

Nick Valentino, VP of Market Operations, Bellhop

4. Strike the right balance

“In my experience, smaller teams often achieve better results from training programs. Why? Fewer participants means each person gets more individual attention and practice time. I once led a workshop for a 5-person startup team. We were able to dive deep into their specific challenges and tailor the exercises to their needs. They left with actionable strategies they implemented immediately, and their marketing ROI shot up 250% the next quarter. However, I've also seen large group trainings work well IF you break the group into smaller "pods" of 4-6 people. At our annual company retreat, we split our 50-person marketing department into cross-functional teams for a day-long training. Each pod had to develop and pitch a full go-to-market strategy for a new product. The friendly competition kept everyone engaged, and the varied perspectives led to some wild and brilliant ideas. Two of those plans turned into real campaigns that crushed their KPIs. The key is striking the right balance for your team and goals. Too small, and you miss out on diversity of thought. Too big, and you risk lack of engagement or individualized attention. In my opinion, the sweet spot is usually 4-8 participants per training group.”

Gustav Nicholson, Editor, ampifire.com

5. Reduce trainer-to-trainee ratio for bigger teams

“I've implemented a few key strategies. First, for larger teams, we reduced the trainer-to-trainee ratio by introducing more instructors, ensuring individual attention and follow-ups. Second, we've segmented larger groups into smaller task-oriented teams to foster deep-dive learning. Third, for smaller teams, we invest in cross-training to diversify skills and reduce reliance on individual employees.”

Dan Dillon, Founder & CEO, CleanItSupply.com

6. Create programs for small and large teams

“Small teams excel in gaining deep, personalized insights into our window and door products and processes, benefiting from focused training that addresses individual queries and strengthens their overall grasp. This tailored approach directly boosts confidence, performance, and ultimately— customer satisfaction. For broader topics like sales and project briefings, I'd say that the collective vibrancy of larger groups enhances the learning experience! The rich exchange of perspectives and ideas in such settings not only deepens understanding but also fosters a spirit of teamwork, crucial for navigating sales complexities and project specifics with finesse. Our nuanced training methodology- catering to both small and large groups- is integral in preparing our team to excel in the windows and doors industry, emphasizing our dedication to excellence and teamwork!”

Alexander Havkin, Regional Sales Manager, Ecoline Windows

7. Embrace both small and large team trainings

“We've embraced the best of both worlds at our company, employing small groups for focused development and larger ones for comprehensive training. This strategy has refined our training efforts, enhancing both our productivity and the caliber of our gaming products. The key to our success has been a versatile training model that scales to meet our teams' varying needs, blending skill enhancement with a culture of ongoing learning and creativity!”

Marin Cristian-Ovidiu, CEO, Online Games

Key Takeaways

Summary of findings

The study confirmed that smaller teams are generally more effective in training contexts, with better engagement and learning outcomes.

  • Participant engagement: Teams of 1-5 members were seen as the most conducive to high engagement, with 52% of respondents noting higher engagement levels in smaller teams.
  • Feedback and assessment: A total of 38% found that feedback and assessment processes are most effective in smaller teams of 1-5 members, suggesting that personalization and close interaction are key to effective learning evaluation.
  • Training outcomes satisfaction: A clear majority, 52%, reported being very satisfied with training outcomes in smaller teams, emphasizing a significant preference for training in intimate group settings.
  • Team dynamics: Smaller teams are believed to foster better collaborative relationships, as indicated by 48% of respondents, while medium teams providing a balance of diversity and closeness were favored by 45%.
  • Training communication efficiency: The efficiency of communication was rated highest in smaller teams (1-5 members) by 48% of participants, reflecting a trend that smaller teams facilitate better interaction during training sessions.

The study emphasizes the advantages of smaller teams in training environments, particularly noting that teams of 1-5 members foster the highest levels of engagement, personalized feedback, and satisfaction with training outcomes. Smaller teams enhance communication efficiency and improve team dynamics, making interactions more effective and fostering better collaborative relationships. While smaller groups are ideal for intimate and interactive training settings, the study also suggests that medium-sized teams provide a beneficial mix of diversity and closeness, effectively maintaining the advantages of small team dynamics without significant compromise.

To optimize the training sessions and ensure effective upskilling, consider integrating Skill Success Teams into your training strategy. Suitable for teams of all sizes, our platform is especially effective for maintaining high engagement and efficient communication in smaller groups, as demonstrated by recent studies. With a dashboard for real-time tracking of progress, Skill Success Teams ensures transparency and accountability in training outcomes. Our extensive library of over 4,000 online courses spans topics from technology to project management, digital marketing, and soft skills, allowing your team to select training that precisely fits their needs. The self-paced, gamified learning environment, coupled with customized learning paths, is designed to foster deeper engagement and enhance learning outcomes across various team structures.

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