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Getting the best of a limited training budget


How do you get the best out of a limited training budget & how do you get the most development for the least cost?
Sara Barrett

8 Responses

  1. best value
    Hi there, surely the best way to ensure you’re getting the most from your budget is to make sure you’ve identified the key areas needing attention and then prioritize them. The prioritization is the key – involving the right people (i.e all key stakeholders) and then being realistic in what you can offer within the time scales and budgets.

    Another consideration is to think about blended solutions, which can save on both time and money.

    happy to expand on processes we’ve used before for both TNA and delivery solutions.



  2. High Impact Solutions
    I would look to adopt a so-called High Impact Training Strategy.

    Here you really focus on just what your staff need to know/practice to meet their business goals. You need to ensure that you do not specify “nice to haves” or other learning goals that are irrelevant. The aim of this approach is to only deliver training that has the maximum impact (has the highest degree of leverage).

    For instance, you determine that your staff need sales training. But rather than put them all through a full sales course, you examine the situation further and find out that half need training in better prospecting, the others in better objection handling. So you develop or buy in just a short session on prospecting and another on overcoming objections.

    Your spending will be better targeted this way and by using alternative methods of training, coupled with line manager coaching, you will get more from your budget.

  3. Reduce recruitment costs

    Comment already provided give you a good start in focusing on the key priorities and delivery aspects of your requirement. One area perhaps overlooked with regard to training budgets is the cost of finding the appropriate trainers that can satisfy the needs identified; a reason perhaps some organisations go with current ‘approved suppliers’ who may not be best suited, defeating the whole object.
    Hope this helps.


  4. look internally
    I thunk there are some very valid comments in the earlier replies. It may be helpful to consider not only the specific training needs of the employees but what skills currently exist in house. training a small number of people in training techniques may prove more cost effective than using external providers for all training. There are also a number of free training options, for example learn direct, which can be useful for self motivated individuals. I agree with previous comments that to maximise the benefit of your training pound there is a need to identify specific training needs that link with organisational objectives.
    Good luck.

  5. Limited training budgets
    …and to add to the others?

    As a Manager responsible for training, I’d want to be really clear on a) what my existing training budget is producing by way of benefits; b) whether that training could be even more cost-effectively delivered; and c) what I am misssing out on by not training even more (eg from appraisals, management reports, customer comment, etc)…

    And (heretical thought?), at Board level at least, as a Non-Exec Director of several companies myself, I’d also want to challenge how the training budget was set in the first place, the answers to the above three questions and the possible costs/payback of spending even more…

    I hope this may be helpful?

    I know that ‘training’ may be like ‘advertising’ in terms of budgeting (“we know we have to do it, even half may be wasted, but which half?”) – finite answers aren’t always easy to quantify. So often, in practice, it is easy to take last year’s spend and add/subtract a bit. But whether in advertising or training, those are surely pretty crummy responses by a professional management, for all a business judgement needs to be applied?

    Good budgeting is often down to the strength and quality of the competing arguments presented. (And if YOU never get to present these arguments yourself, make the bullets for someone else to fire?) 🙂

    ‘Nuff said, I hope?

    Good fortune!


  6. trusted provider
    As well as all the advice below Sara – I would strongly recommend fostering a close relationship with good training provider.

    As a supplier myself I offer discounts for volume and in some cases reductions to foster good working relationship and to help a customer out.

    Beware though! I know of other suppliers that sneakily reduce the level of service (and therefore quality), so make sure you know what you are getting for your money.

    If you have an established relationship with a good provider, they should help you. If you don’t then get hunting – lookout for the expensive ones, someone has to pay for the corporate HQ and the branding. Select someone who can demonstrate their quality and offer you a personal service – and above all practice what they preach.

  7. Networking
    As a Training Development Manager I experienced your problem for a number of years. I would recommend that once you know what your priorities are you assess whether you have any people internally who not only have subject knowledge but also have the skills to deliver.
    I would then recommend that you develop a network of good trainers who have a track record in terms of delivering what you need, dependable but don’t charge the high fees that the large training organisations demand. The large organisations are often approached because there appears to be safety in numbers and if the trainer goes sick someone else will be provided. This is not always the case. I can honestly say I was not let down by the network of trainers I employed. Now as a freelance trainer I have never let anyone down and my fees are a quarter of what is charged when I have worked for some of the larger training organisations.

  8. look back in anger?
    Peggy Hoogstoel posted a similar question which might have some helpful answers…
    “How do I get more for less?” 3rd Dec 2004


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