Training should be essential. It’s how we extend our knowledge, develop our skills, encourage consistent behaviours and in many industries, one of the things that keeps us safe.
Whilst training is key to our growth as individuals and as organisations, on a day to day basis, we can probably live without it. We still get the job done and consequently, training budgets are often the first to be slashed when the pressure is on to cut costs.
Nobody wants to limit growth just because times are tough financially; in fact it is during these more challenging periods where opportunities for growth and the development of our capabilities should be explored.
A reduced training budget often means rethinking your strategy and objectives. Consider the following:
What training do you really need?
It is important to consider the value training brings to your organisation, particularly when your budget has been cut.
There’s a tendency to assume training is the answer when things are not working as well as they could; we invest in a programme and complete the courses but the problem persists. This is often because we fail to effectively analyse the initial issue and consequently misinterpret or misplace the training need.
What isn’t working? Why is it not working? Is it a lack of understanding or knowledge? Are there cultural or behavioural concerns? Is it a practical issue? These are all important questions to ask when assessing what training you really need.
Are your current solutions meeting your needs?
How often do you consider whether your training is actually working?
What was the objective of training? Has that objective been met?
Are those who completed training demonstrating knowledge transfer? Is what they learned being utilised in the working environment? Is it sustainable?
On and off the job, classroom or computer based, simulators, e-learning, coaching, lectures – there is no ‘one training solution fits all’. Take time to evaluate what solution is best suited to your organisation and your training needs.
Could you take training in house?
External providers need not be the only solution to your training needs. There are often circumstances where taking your training in house is a more sustainable, efficient option.
Investing in the development of an internal training programme can be a brilliant solution if your training requirement is very specific to your organisation or concerns niche, specialist knowledge.
When depth of knowledge and a comprehensive understanding of the subject is essential, existing personnel may be better equipped to deliver your content effectively.
By adopting a collaborative approach to develop training materials and the coaching and delivery skills of personnel, it is possible to design a sustainable solution targeted specifically to your training needs that utilises your existing talent and resources.
Although at times it may seem like an easy option, you should consider the negative impact a drastically reduced training budget could have on your team and business.
Evaluate your training needs, objectives and the the value your existing solutions bring. Investigate alternative approaches to delivering these requirements which can add value to your organisation and yield a greater return.
You may not need lots of training, just training that works.