How to save money on employee training development
The process of developing employee training can be a tightrope walk at times. You have to balance providing quality training while keeping costs to a minimum. It becomes especially tricky when companies face a multitude of workforce trends that deeply impact training, such as the rise of skills-based hiring, the rise of hybrid work and fluid workplace models, and employee demands for flexibility.
However, with careful planning, companies can reduce training costs without compromising quality.
Let’s look at a few ways your internal learning and development (L&D) team can get the most bang for your buck.
Employee training and development: How to achieve effectiveness
Take advantage of virtual training
In-person training can be expensive, especially if part of your workforce is dispersed and you have to factor in food, hotel and flight costs. Virtual training can be just as effective as in-person if done correctly. This often translates into the need for updated learning technology and the use of quality video conferencing software that can help ensure:
- Video meeting
- Training record
If you don’t have a Learning Management System (LMS) that includes multimedia-enhanced content, you can solve the problem by using popular web-based learning platforms such as:
- Webex meetings
- Go to meeting
- Adobe Connect
- Blackboard to collaborate
Take advantage of Microlearning
Microlearning modules deliver content in small “bits”, often 3-5 minutes long, focusing on specific learning objectives of critical skills. For example, XYZ Hospital wants to train its nurses to use a new needle. XYZ Hospital then creates a 3-5 minute microlearning video that focuses on how to use the new needle.
Microlearning is not only cost-effective, but can also provide more concise training content, accommodate schedules and the employee’s ability to retain a certain amount of information over a period of time, and meet the employee’s need for flexibility as they can control what and when they learn.
Leverage in-house expertise
Hiring learning and development consultants can be quite expensive. Instead, one avenue may be to consult with people who know the company and its roles best—such as internal subject matter experts and more experienced employees—to help create the training content.
Leveraging internal expertise can help:
- Identify gaps and needs in training and make training more effective.
- Identify methods to review training effectiveness.
- Include more real-world applications in your training content.
Some ways to involve employees in training include:
- Hold a brainstorming session. For example, if ABC is creating a sales training program, it might hold a brainstorming session with its sales team. The company provides lunch and the sales team provides invaluable training feedback.
- Register them to provide the information needed to create job aids and other content relevant to the roles.
- Choose internal trainers to create and deliver relevant content.
Implement a mentoring program
Mentoring is becoming an increasingly popular way of training employees and is very cost effective.
In the mentoring process, the experienced employee has the opportunity to share his knowledge, skills and insights with the trainee. In turn, the intern has the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge and the confidence to perform their role effectively.
Some tips for effectively implementing a mentoring program include:
- Define the training goals and what you want the mentor to teach.
- Create incentives to attract employees to the mentoring program.
- Carefully match mentors with interns.
- Create a way to measure the success of the mentoring program.
Take advantage of low-cost training places
By using inexpensive or low-cost stores, you guarantee an exit without big expenses. These outlets range from creating job aids to pre-made training videos to training platforms.
Popular stores include:
- Canvas for presentations and work aids.
- Coursera for corporate training platform.
- Futurelearn for more options like videos, exams and discussions.
- Khan Academy for some videos made by experts.
- GoToTraining to perform self-registration, organize training materials and share courses.
- Podcasts for training.
Take advantage of online education packages
Training costs can be reduced by replacing current learning platform plans. For example, instead of a plan with total users, companies can switch to a plan with active users. This is important because the monthly or annual fee often depends on the number of workers using the platform.
Focus on targeted training goals
Effective training equals relevance. And training costs don’t have to be astronomical to create relevant, tailored training. This includes removing outdated or irrelevant material from training programs and incorporating assessment to ensure employees have acquired the required skills. This also means updating and improving training as needed. For example, if there has been a process change in the organization, this would require improved training along with the incorporation of an assessment that assesses employees’ understanding of the new procedures.
Change your own workshops
If workshops prove to be an effective outlet for training, consider moving from in-house workshops to a public workshop. For example, GHJ’s accounting firm sends its CPA to a workshop hosted by another CPA firm.
There are a number of tools and methods to streamline your training solution and save money. Of course, sometimes the greatest effectiveness is most easily identified by a training consultant or instructional designer who performs a needs analysis and reviews your content.