So you’re a Training Manager, Learning & Development Manager, or have a role that oversees the growth and development of staff and employees within an organization. However, in today’s downtrend economy your work may be constrained by unrealistic budget limits. In that case you need to have a sound game-plan on board, so that you can keep giving results.
But this doesn’t mean that you have to give up, there are still several easily implementable and inexpensive strategies that you can employ to take your department’s training to a whole new level. Thus ensuring that corporate goals are met and even exceeded thus ensuring that both you, as a manager, and the department you deal with are noted at the highest level within the organization!
Bring in expert guest presenters
This feels rather odd if you are into the convenience offered by training organization! But the fact of the matter is, that trainers are very expensive - costing the training organization itself anything from $1,000-$4,000 per day depending on the topic, their expertise, the travel required and many other factors. Therefore, in order for the training organization to even cross into the profitable territory, they need to transfer a significant portion of their costs to the end user – you.
However, by calling upon the industry or topic’s most experienced leaders and experts, you can run a one-off or series of group training workshops that are jam-packed with value from your industry’s top consultants for a significantly lesser amount than a ‘formal’ training workshop from a training organization. This is so because such experts are self-employed and thus the ‘middle man’, in this case the training organization, is eliminated.
Conduct peer training
A fundamental element of effective workforce planning and development is accounting for the internal succession of knowledge and information within your organization. Getting your own employees to conduct training workshops is not only easy on the pocket but also helps in ingraining a productive, company-oriented work culture into the newer employees. This is so because most of the times such peer training workshops are conducted through individuals who have already made a name for themselves in the company consequent to their effect approach towards the daily workload.
Make the meetings count
There is nothing more important to an organization than the effective use of time. However, unfortunately when teams go out of their work pattern and participate in a meeting, this is often overlooked. Meetings have long been considered as relaxation times by employees. Therefore it is your duty to make every meeting a new learning experience and a source of professional development. You can do this by properly planning and managing the meeting in question through effective communication before, during, and after it, as well as making sure that all participants are encouraged to get involved with their ideas.
Food is not a requirement
In meetings and workshops alike, a significant chunk of the money goes to catering services. While the provision of food is a good choice if you have the money to spare but if you are running on a tight budget then this portion should be secondary to the actual training. Oftentimes workshop organizers spend more on catering than on the actual core event! Also, while free food brings in more people, at the same time it can bring in a disinterested audience that is only there for a free bite. Keeping food at the very minimum, or if it’s a quick event, just skipping it, would mean that a more interactive audience comes in that is properly into training rather than covering for the afternoon snack they had missed!
Organization objectives are paramount
Some organizations conduct training workshops and seminars just for the sake of conducting them. Often this occurs in organizations that don’t have good training managers or workforce planning systems. They can suddenly realize at the end of the financial year that they have a training budget to use up.
So, they put on some completely irrelevant training that has no practical use, implementable actions or direct results on the individual's key performance indicators, departmental key results areas or organizational objectives whatsoever. Basically resulting in a complete waste of time and money and an increasingly strong case against the Return on Investment (ROI) of training within that organization - and a reduced budget for the following year (probably a higher staff turnover too!).
Therefore, you should to work to strategically align training sessions to your organization’s objectives. Make the training count!
In conclusion, the ability to enable your workforce to attain and maintain current with the skills, knowledge and competencies required to do their jobs effectively, innovatively, productively and safely is vital in today's marketplace to ensure that our organizations remain strong and competitive. And with the implementation of some very basic strategies, you can maximize the impact of your training programs while avoiding a heavy hit on the budget.