Apr 012017
 

 

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According to Training Magazine, U.S. companies spent $70.6 billion on training products and services in 2015. That’s a chunk of change. But even if you have a hefty training budget, it makes sense to spend it wisely. (Maybe you’ll have enough left over to hire Van Halen for the holiday party.)

And if money’s already tight, you’ll be looking for ways to keep your training quality high and your costs low. Here are a few big ideas with tiny price tags:

Encourage mentoring.

Yaov Vilner, co-founder of Ranky, suggests developing a mentor program to help new folks learn about key skills and company culture. The folks at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School concur in a recent post, noting that peer mentoring can help middle managers develop their abilities.

Mentoring engagements can focus on a single skill for a short period or help mentees advance their careers over several months. Many experienced people enjoying mentoring others. And it costs comparatively little to manage a program.

Use stretch assignments.

Along with mentoring and coaching, managers can hand out stretch assignments, tasks that require an employee to learn on the job. It could involve more responsibility in their current job role or even a completely new role.

Those taking on stretch assignments will need support from a manager or coach to help them overcome new challenges. But the results can be even better than a training course because these tasks provide real-world experience.

Not only does it cost little to incorporate stretch tasks, you also haven’t pulled someone away from work to take a class. So your opportunity costs drop as well.

Grow your own content.

It’s expensive to create classes. In fact, ATD research suggests that one hour of a traditional class takes between 43 to 89 person hours to produce. More complex offerings can take up to 700 hours to create one hour of instruction. You can buy pre-built courses, but they won’t address your company’s unique needs.

READ MORE at BizCatalyst360°…

CAROL BLEYLE handles client services and marketing for Pract.us Software, a training platform designed to promote experiential, on-the-job learning and development. She works to realize the vision of turning the 70% of informal learning we do at work into a powerful training and development tool. With an M.A. in Cognitive Linguistics from the University of California at Berkeley, Carol views skills development through the lens of cognitive science and psychology And over the past 23 years, whether in traditional classrooms or on-the-go mentoring in her own company, Carol has constantly searched for realistic ways to make learning more natural and engaging. As a writer, trainer, consultant, entrepreneur and public speaker, Carol helps business owners find practical solutions to employee performance. She and her husband reside in beautiful Loudoun County Virginia with three energetic dogs and two lazy horses.  Contact Facebook LinkedInTwitter

Photo Credit –  geralt

  • Chris Pehura

    The biggest challenge we have is doing “simulations”. During our training, we want people to have the competency to contribute at the producer, middle management, and executive management levels. Simulation in the traditional classroom is easy to do. In the online environment, simulations despite being surgically designed do not offer the same level of impact. So we plan to offer both an online component and an in person component to gain the best of both worlds.

  • Carol West Bleyle

    Online opens a lot of options for you. Have you noticed any resistance to it?

  • Chris Pehura

    We see that too. We’re looking at online as a more cost friendly way to deliver training to our clients.

  • Carol West Bleyle

    Yes, Chris, so true! Plus, people often don’t experiment with non-traditional learning, so if they can’t afford instructor-led classes, they assume there are no other options.

  • Chris Pehura

    The purpose of training is to change behavior. There are so many ways of doing that. The problem is that when people axe training, they don’t replace this behavior changing mechanism with a more cost effective one.