With the start of a new Tax Year it can be tempting to treat training as a dispensable expenditure, especially if 2016 wasn’t your most profitable year. But simply cutting training budgets can be dangerous – instead, take the opportunity to work smarter.
Here are our 8 TOP TIPS to help your 2017 Training Budget go a little further…
1. Prioritise Training Needs
First, identify and focus on the mission-critical training requirements in your Company. For example, set aside a clear amount for new starters. Induction training or ‘on-boarding’ of any sort is crucial to the cogs in your business continuing to spin. If all your existing employees are busy forever training up new starters then who is actually doing the work! Your Company will run smoother if you have a continual induction programme running.
Our Managing Director, Chris Lucas-Jones, believes that building a Bespoke Induction Programme which not only includes standard legislative training such as entry-level First Aid, Health & Safety training but also covers bespoke training is crucial to any growing organisation. Chris says…
“EndeavourUK have first-hand experience on how on-boarding really works within the Care Industry. Our 10 day Care Programme successfully delivered through our Charity clients, ensures that Care Workers are quickly up to speed with the overall mission, vision and values of the Company. This bespoke training also covers Company standards, systems, use of equipment and resources plus more specific job performance and measurement e.g what is expected of them and how they fit within other functions within that particular Care Home. All crucial when they are expected to ‘Care’ from Day 1″
2. Consider Pre-Induction Training
Larger organisations, in particular, use this strategy to ensure their new starters learn about their brand, competitors and often internal processes before they actually start which, inevitably, reduces the training burden once new staff have joined, meaning they can hit the ground running.
3. Don’t ‘sheep dip’
Think – what does each person really need to do his or her job? It isn’t just the skills they require to actually do the job there are other questions you must consider. For example, will they be lifting heavy equipment or moving boxes or files regularly? Have you assessed their work station or are they going to be responsible for First Aid at Work? Remember, tailor your training to support real performance needs – every employee does not need to attend every course. If you don’t, you risk throwing away your training budget unnecessarily.
4. Outsource expediently
So you’re thinking of using eLearning to reduce costs? It can make sense to outsource basic entry-level training e.g. food hygiene awareness for staff that may be handling food e.g. your secretary who unwraps the business meeting sandwiches – it doesn’t make good business sense to be out of the business for a day attending an Accredited Level 2 Food Safety in Catering course. However, if you are investing in an Induction or On-Boarding training programme then all these types of basic training requirements could be covered within that bespoke programme.
5. Don’t ditch all your classroom training
It can be tempting, but scrapping all classroom training when training budgets are cut is a mistake. For non-legislated training instead, think “horses for courses” – work with a Training Company to develop a blended learning programme. For example, your Training Company will select key role-play or discussion points from a three-day classroom course to create a one-day course. The key knowledge learning and testing elements can then be delivered separately to the key people requiring the Certificates e.g. your Fire Marshal or Appointed First Aider.
6. Encourage informal knowledge sharing
In the current age of social networking, encourage employees to share knowledge informally. This may be facilitated via a secure network within an intranet, or through a group set up on one of the more popular social networks, such as Facebook or LinkedIn. You might find that staff will be happy to access such informal learning at a time when they know they have to keep up in terms of knowledge and skills. This particularly works well if you are offering Mindfulness Therapy Sessions or are part of the Time To Change campaign and want to spread the message of Mental Illness at Work through a ‘team Facebook page’ or something similar.
7. Be careful with eLearning
Yes it seems to be cost effective and yes it can help when you need to ensure your team have entry-level certificates for Food Hygiene or Manual Handling. But it is important to remember eLearning doesn’t work for everyone. Different people learn in different ways. Some people like a self-paced, computer based approach. But other people prefer face-to-face conversations. Some people are more comfortable with technology than others. And sometimes people don’t have the infrastructure available to run large, complex eLearning modules (e.g. if they are in a remote location). eLearning should never be the only way for people to learn. It should be one option in a range of options. The more variety you can deliver, the better the likelihood that each person can find a learning method that works for them as ultimately the more knowledge your employees have, the more productive they will be.
8. Maximise different training channels
Look at using existing training opportunities that could be delivered in-house so any bespoke programmes that you deliver for Customer Service or Management. If you do not have an HR Manager, then look for the employee who demonstrates good presentation skills and send them on a Train the Trainer course. Use your existing training materials, design images, stories and questions to produce a bespoke training solution and create a new role for your employee as in-house trainer.
- Take the long road and invest in a solid induction programme – it will save you money!
- Stop and think. Who needs this training and why?
- Ditch the sheep-dip approach in favour of tailored programmes.
- Focus your teams thinking on blended learning rather than axing all classroom based training.
- Check legislation, as an Employer, there are certain certificates your employees will need to have to do their job and as a business, there are certain elements you must comply with for Health & Safety.
- Get employees to share knowledge informally – set up a team Facebook page and start sharing!
- Keep track – legislated certificates are only valid for certain periods usually 2 or 3 years. Keep a training diary for all your employees and remember to refresh certificates and manage training when employees move on!
Want to know more about how EndeavourUK can help plan your 2017-2018 Training Budget then get in touch today! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 020 3637 5161.