Training Magazine has just released their annual “Salary Survey,” and the figures are a little disheartening for the training industry. According to the report, “Total 2012 U.S. training expenditures – including payroll and spending on external products and services – fell 6.5 percent to $55.8 billion.” The report also mentions that 65% of organizations either decreased their training budget or kept 2011’s budget.
While the current trend is going against training, many business owners are coming to realize the impressive ROI of professional training services. If you are one of the companies in that 65%, consider these affordable options:
Donna Flagg, writing for the Huffington Post, advises that employers encourage “Learning Teams” in the workplace. A “Learning Team” can take on the form of a business book club or an arranged weekly lunch. Essentially, diverse groups of employees in your organization get together to discuss an idea or share experiences. This is a great way to supplement your current training curriculum.
We believe that this strategy works best in a mature organization that employs leaders who are willing to take charge in discussion. Otherwise, these “Learning Teams” can turn out to be nothing but wasted man-hours. If you choose to start “Learning Teams” within your organization, encourage younger employees to share new strategies with top leadership, in addition to having top leadership share about their experiences.
Formal Mentoring Opportunities
Mary K. Pratt, a Verizon employee writing for Computer World, suggests that employers set up in-house mentoring programs. Pratt cites an example in which a Prudential executive selected 10 of her best leaders and 10 of her best new employees, and paired them together for nine months. The process was entirely voluntary (a huge factor in its success), and took place off-site, outside of office hours. The mentored employees were encouraged to share their goals and objectives, while senior leadership provided guidance and made suggestions.
This is a great way for the senior leadership on your team to share formal training experience with newer, younger members.
Online Training & Blended Solutions
Even if your budget is down, that doesn’t mean you can’t afford professional training. Many companies (SNI included) offer blended training solutions with strong online components. If you want your employees to have the best training experience possible, without breaking the bank, consider exploring one of these blended training options.
Training your employees doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. All it takes is a little bit of creativity and strategy!
Have training ideas of your own? Share them in the comments section below.