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5 Ways to Cut Down On Training Costs


Every business should understand that training is an investment which will hopefully produce more efficient and skilled workers. A business which trains its employees shows that they care about improving them, increasing their motivation and commitment. In an economy which is nearing full employment, it is more important than ever to ensure the employees you do have reach their potential.

Training is expensive, and the training budget is often among the first areas to be slashed when a business looks to cut costs. But there are still ways to improve training and know what programs work the best all while cutting costs in the process. Here are five methods to build an efficient and trained workforce which will communicate and help you train newer workers.

  1. Promote a Learning Culture

A lot of gurus talk about promoting a learning culture, but Lynda points out that every organization already has one. The catch is whether your business’s learning culture promotes innovation and learning on one hand, or just doing what your superiors command on the other. If your business falls into the latter category, no one will bother to learn more than what is mandated or come up with new, innovative ideas.

Instead, promote a culture which points out and rewards workers who take the initiative to learn new skills, and make it clear that you expect their best. This will encourage workers to actually learn in training programs, making them more effective and cost-efficient. You may even get workers who seek out additional programs on their own time and money, which will create better workers and save money over the long term.

  1. Value Social Learning and Mentors

I have attended my fair share of training classes and seminars. But I learned most not from those classes, but by working alongside more experienced co-workers who knew what to do. Even if they did not tell me exactly what to do, I watched them, took note of what worked, and adapted it to my own style.

This sort of learning happens in every business every single day, yet businesses host training classes which host some outsider who knows nothing about the details of that particular business. Instead, businesses should have their more experienced employees mentor newer employees. As the Houston Chronicle notes, the business benefits from lower training costs, the employee benefits from being trained by someone who knows the ropes, and the mentor is satisfied because he knows the business values his experience. It is a win-win scenario for everyone.  

  1. Promote E-learning

Businesses no longer need to hire an instructor to fly to their physical location and gather the workers to ensure they are all there for a training class. E-learning classes can be much more efficient, with some businesses in 2014 reporting that they slashed their training costs in half by replacing traditional instructors with e-learning.

E-learning carries additional benefits over traditional instructors. It allows employees to proceed at their own pace and also ensures that the courses are always available as long as they are connected to the internet. Millennials, the generation who need training the most because of their relative inexperience, are also more receptive to e-learning.

There are a wide variety of e-learning classes, both in cost and what they teach. Find what works best for your business and start training.

  1. Start small

If there is a training program or plan you like, you may want to roll it out as soon as possible. But what may work for you may not work for your employees, and your business will waste money if you launch an ambitious training program without testing it first.

Instead, show your training plan to a small cadre of workers and ask for their feedback. With all programs in general, it is better to start off small and make adjustments afterwards. By correcting mistakes, you can ensure that every employee gets the most out of training and save money both through effective training and slashing costs.

  1. Promote Feedback

This is arguably the most important step of all. If your workers are not learning much from your training programs, you are wasting time and money. This is made more difficult because it can challenging to figure out if a training program is effective or not.

You can decide a program’s effectiveness by measuring results, but that can sometimes be arbitrary as you figure out what to measure. Employee feedback is a more useful method. Talk to them after a training event about what they learned and got out of it. Make it clear that you hope for honesty. This will not only let you know whether a program is effective or not, but promote a learning culture as employees know that they can speak up if they believe things are going badly.

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