As organizations are looking for ways to do more with less in today's economy, the pressure is greater than ever to provide cost-effective, flexible resources that meet the needs of today's learner. At the same time, it's never been more important to develop a skilled workforce capable of competing in today's market.
There are 3 key steps that can help you stretch your training dollar, as follows:
- Cut Back Creatively. You don't want to cut back on training effectiveness; you just want to do more with less. So a few key considerations are to:
- Piggyback any traditional classroom programs with existing meetings in order to reduce travel costs.
- Reduce or eliminate catering expenses.
- Minimize the length of your traditional classroom programs in order to reduce their impact on working hours.
- Train your internal staff to facilitate the programs.
- Cut back on your travel costs by providing more virtual or online training.
- Analyze and Prioritize. Which program topics are the most important at this time? Which ones impact your organization's top or bottom lines? Which ones help your managers lead and your employees adapt to today's competitive climate?
Make sure you've identified your mission critical programs and prioritize them in order of organizational importance. Then put your emphasis on those programs first.
- Seek New Approaches to Training and Development. There's a growing trend towards providing more virtual and online course ware. Not only is it more cost-effective and requires no travel, it can be provided in shorter increments that can best engage an incredibly busy workforce. Many learners are asking for this type of delivery, as they don't have time to take 1-2 days out of their office to attend traditional training programs. There are three types of virtual and online training approaches you may want to consider:
- Live Virtual Instructor-Led Training. The benefit of this approach is that it is still delivered by a live facilitator and if conducted effectively can be much more interactive than most people realize. Each participant can see the presentation on their computer and verbally interact with the facilitator. They participate at the appointed date and time. Most sessions are no longer than 90 minutes so the impact on the learner's workday is minimized. In addition, the sessions are very easy to customize and can be presented to address shorter, very targeted business needs.
- Online Self-Paced eLearning. Because self-paced learning can be accessed 24/7, it can easily be completed at the most convenient time for the learner. There are a lot of elearning programs on the market now. The most effective ones keep the learner engaged by requiring the learner to answer questions and interact with the program as they progress through it. They should also include a knowledge assessment at the end to allow the learner to test their knowledge. Many will then provide an opportunity to print off a Certificate of Completion. You want to make sure your course provider can give you the option of hosting the programs on your own Learning Management System (LMS) if you already have one.
- Blended Learning. This gives you the ability to customize the learner's experience by providing a variety of live virtual, online self-paced and/or classroom training to best meet the needs of your learners. You can utilize different tools based on the content you are delivering. There are endless combinations of resources and training designs that can be utilized.
The ability to help your workforce obtain and strengthen the skills they need is of critical importance in today's economic landscape. Learners need very timely and targeted training content that addresses their real world needs. They need it to be meaningful to them, and they need it to be convenient.
These 3 keys can help learning and development professionals maximize the impact of the programs they provide, even when their budget has been minimized.
For More Information
View our recorded webinar "How to Maximize Learning on a Minimized Budget". This one hour recorded webinar will address soem of today's business challenges, the learning needs of the changing workforce and resources to help you.