How To Stretch Your Employee Training Budget
In today’s economic environment budgets are constantly being squeezed and there is a high degree of vigilance to prevent overspending. In most organizations, the days are past when you could cheerfully exceed your training budget by a 15 or 20%.
Unfortunately, when economic conditions are constrained, training is one of the first things that gets cut.
The effect of these training cost cuts means that personal development is reduced to a minimum and the effect on the organization will not be felt for 12 to 24 months. It is a false economy because good people will leave if they feel that they cannot work to their potential through learning,training and development. The cost of filling these vacancies far exceeds the cost of training.
There is a high cost to effective training courses. It is tempting to put off a training course that has a high priority impact because of the apparent high cost. I have listed below some tactics that you can employ to reduce your over all cost of training.
Train key participants and use them as coaches for others. A lot of training courses are priced on the number of participants, so if you can reduce the number of participants and use them as a resource, you could provide the learning and development at a much lower cost per head.
Reduce the length of courses. Rewrite your courses into short modules to reduce the length of time that people are away from their job. Use the principle of, “little and often.” Distil the course down to its basic points and provide supplementary information in the form of written material or DVDs.
Set up partnerships with other organizations. This will enable you to share the costs of training but also allow you to buy training in bulk to reduce the per capita cost.
Split the costs with participants. Ask participants for a contribution when they attend personal development programs.
Seek out the appropriate government grants. This may take a bit of research but you can also include asking industry association organizations for support to carry some of the costs.
Conduct training sessions in the evenings. This will reduce operating costs for your organization as a whole and courses and program can be run at weekends as well.
Hold training courses on site. This will reduce the cost of expensive hotels and conference centers.
Use in-house facilitators. Train your own trainers and then invite compatible industries to attend the training courses that you are holding. This way you can charge them a modest fee to cover all your costs and maybe generate a surplus.
Write and sell training courses to smaller businesses. Where you have written a training course specifically for your industry, research similar organizations and offer them the course for a fee.
Use videoconferencing. For some short courses, videoconferencing can be a cost-effective alternative. There are plenty of facilities available at local colleges and universities which are much cheaper than airfares and hotels.