In view of the economic realities, our training budget has over the years suffered a huge cut, yet the competency gaps in my workforce keep widening. In which ways can I optimize my training budget?
Many companies are faced with Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity in the business environment they operate in and consequently, the learning and development budgets of these companies have either been cut drastically or suspended. This forces learning managers to devise creative ways of doing more with less (or nothing in some cases). The following are five initiatives you can use to not only manage your lean learning budgets but also improve ROI on learning investments.
1. Online learning: Online learning has become a cost-effective alternative to classroom training and often eliminates the travel as well as other costs of deploying the training. There are several free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) that can be leveraged to bridge learning gaps but my personal favourites are Edx, Coursera, Allison and Udemy.
2. Bite-Sized learning: These are short learning interventions normally focused on just one key learning need. Practical examples could be a lunch hour session by the HR manager of an organization to line managers and supervisors on how to give effective feedback. I find these bite-sized learning to be one of the most impactful and very cost-effective too
3. Peer – peer Knowledge Share Sessions: Knowledge sharing recognizes that the wealth of experience and knowledge employees possess is one of the important resources of an organization. Therefore encouraging employees to share that knowledge with each other not only reinforces the learning of the person sharing, but also stimulates innovation and growth, fosters cohesion amongst employees and consciously helps to build a learning organization.
4. In-House Academy: An in-house (corporate) Academy is a company-specific training and development institute that can be considered as a ’central educational hub’. It is a strategic instrument for organizations to train employees. Its primary purpose is to translate the strategy of the organization to training initiatives, relevant for the employees and the company. Many banks and other organisations have deployed this initiative to achieve their corporate objectives.
5. Corporate Library: Lack of relevant information is one of the greatest barriers to solving problems within an organization and corporate libraries function like a repository of company information, corporate memories as well as learning content which can be retrieved in real-time to address this issue. The best corporate libraries combine Content Management System (CMS) functionalities as well as Learning Management System (LMS) functionalities and can be scaled up or down to suit the purpose and size of the company.
I hope this has been practical and useful to you in addressing the challenge. Please send your HR Business Challenges to the HR Doctor at email@example.com and I promise to provide useful, practical solutions to them.