Learning and development (L&D) is a critical area of a business’s future, but it’s sometimes difficult to get enough of a budget to do what you want. In today’s market, employers are finding it even more difficult than usual to hire employees with the experience they need, making training even more important.
So how can employers stretch their L&D budget without simply dropping their training? Let’s look at some options.
Ideas to Reduce L&D Costs
Here are some ideas to consider when reducing L&D costs:
- Consider whether some training could be done in-house with subject matter experts rather than hiring trainers.
- Implement a mentoring program that can serve as a low-cost way to transfer knowledge between employees.
- Assess what types of training could be done remotely via videoconferencing tools rather than traveling to a central location. The bulk of the costs involved in these training sessions are transportation and lodging, along with lost productivity during travel time. If you can eliminate some of those, the training can be accomplished for far less.
- If you opt for training in a classroom environment, consider recording it for future use or for refresher training.
- Look for ways to make electronic copies of printed training materials to reduce printing or purchasing costs.
- If you need expert trainers, shop around to find the right people to conduct the training.
- Determine when hiring temporary staff makes sense so you don’t lose time when people need to be trained. This may not always be necessary, but don’t discount the idea if lost productivity is a huge component of your training costs.
- Shop around for the software and tools that make the most sense for the team, such as a learning management system (LMS), which may be beneficial and have a wide range of cost options. There is also a wide range of costs for software programs to create training materials.
- Set up formal or informal cross-training initiatives to help employees learn new skills outside of the regular training environment.
- Remember that free and discounted training options may exist. Don’t forget to look at industry associations to see what they offer for members, for example, and remember to check for local training programs, too.
- Assess true learning needs, and take the time to put together a skills gap assessment to determine what training is required so you can plan accordingly rather than make assumptions about what training is necessary. You may find there are skills that already exist that can be utilized or employees who could be subject matter experts for the organization.
Remember that employee development is critical to remaining competitive, both in the market and in the competition to get and retain talent. The goal is to train employees while staying within the budget to help them be more efficient and likely to stay with your organization.