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5 Tips to Maximize Your Training Budget, Now and in the Future

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Fri Dec 16 2022

5 Tips to Maximize Your Training Budget, Now and in the Future
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Organizations around the world are casting a particularly watchful eye on their overall spend, and we’re rightfully seeing a heightened focus on training value. How can you ensure that you’re maximizing the effectiveness of your allocated training budget and training programs? Here are a few hard-hitting, easy-to-implement steps you can take to get the full benefit of your training budget.

Challenge the Ask

It’s easy not to think holistically, to ignore the big picture when your organization is developing a learning transformation.

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Many companies already have perceived gaps, and clients are often ready to dive head first into whatever solution they believe they need. When clients approach me this way, I always ask, “Why? Why this specific solution, this program?” Challenging their requests can uncover perceived training gaps and reveal the business drivers for the solutions you implement.

It’s also critical to get buy-in from key players. If the training is being driven by an L&D team, or someone who’s in a corporate role, does that also translate to the field? Will the training help improve your workforce and improve proficiency? Or is it just training for training’s sake?

Identifying realistic, achievable outcomes and goals requires conversations with everyone involved. Empathy interviews are a great way to achieve this. Talk to the teams who are often disconnected from big decision-making conversations, and keep asking, “Why?”

Develop a Road Map

Instead of jumping into development, invest time to truly uncover what’s needed. It’s important to develop a governance model or road map and conduct a learning assessment to understand your current state. This way, you won’t create content and invest in solutions that don’t fit your true needs.

It’s imperative that we balance needs and culture when developing or implementing a solution. If you jump into development and content creation without designing a governance model or road map to inform decision making, you may overspend and not see the results you’re looking for.

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Have Practical Expectations

It never makes sense to introduce the newest, most expensive piece of technology—even something that’s immersive and interactive—if it won’t ensure knowledge retention. You shouldn’t dismiss solutions because they are high-tech or expensive, but you should balance elements of modern learning that will contribute to future stability with your current capabilities and budget.

Paper-based companies should begin with implementing a learning management system (LMS), but some are already considering virtual reality (VR) as the solution to their problems. You must return to these questions before choosing a solution: What skills are we trying to develop? What positions do we need to train? Will this be a good culture fit?

Keep an Eye Out for Scalability

Because of our multigenerational workforce, we’re facing the challenge of training employees with different needs. You likely have people who need training on fundamental procedures and those who simply need refreshers on proper protocols.

How can you implement training solutions that cover both your greenest and your most experienced employees? You need solutions that you can scale up and down.

It’s also critical that any foundational training elements you adopt now will help attract future talent, even 10 years from now. Have an eye toward training program elements and technologies that can grow with you and have future resilience. You’ll likely save money in the long run.

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Realize That You Might Not Need More Training

If you’ve created a governance model, you understand there are other elements that could be affecting the problem you’re trying to solve. If there’s a safety issue, there may be something happening culturally that needs attention, or maybe there’s a lack of leadership that should be addressed before adding more training hours.

Begin with a proper design-thinking session to take a step back with stakeholders, leaders, and subject matter experts and acknowledge that one size does not fit all. Once key players have bought in to that reality, it becomes possible to consider that your issue may not be a training problem.

Workforce transformation is not always about training. A more holistic approach to transforming your workforce means taking a magnifying glass to all facets of your organization, from onboarding efforts to the long-term progression path you’ve established for your people.

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