Last year most companies were in survival mode and focused on the day to day and not the future. As 2010 has begun with a more hopeful outlook, now many companies are beginning to think about investing in training for their employees, but are wary of the cost. So you’re committed to training, but where should you target the spending to ensure the greatest returns?
Start by asking senior management these questions:
1. What are the ultimate goals for the company?
2. Where is the company now in relation to where the executives want it to be and how long do you expect it to take to reach these goals?
3. What are the staffing needs in the short and long term?
4. What skills does the staff need so that they can accomplish day to day tasks as well as the new work to help realize the vision?
5. What is the difference between the company’s bottom line now and what it is expected to be upon reaching the corporate goals?
Training budgets will depend on the organization and the needs of that organization. Thus, determining the needs and focusing on those needs is a step in the right direction.
With today’s technological world, there are many ways to make a small training budget go a long way. Now that you understand the company’s visions and goals, think creatively about training to achieve those goals. Webinars are available on-line where employees can join in from their desktop and not have to spend money flying to another location to receive training. A webinar can also be designed in-house and dispersed to other locations within an organization or given to employees to do on their own time. Podcasts are also now available and can get across short bursts of information, again at a fairly low cost. Lastly, there may be opportunities to obtain extra funding through state grants for training initiatives. Check out your state’s Department of Employment and Training website to see what might be available. As many know already, employee career development increases employee satisfaction and can also help with employee retention. Training is not only an investment in the workforce, but can help the organization achieve their vision and goals. With input from senior management, a focused topic, and a little perseverance to conduct training on a budget, employee training and development can be conducted at low costs and high returns.