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Employee Training: Driving Down the Cost of Training Several companies from small start-ups to those on the Fortune 500 have made the investment in a well executed employee training program which yields high returns.

Forward-thinking companies who recognize the value of their employees are placing a renewed emphasis on education and training. Forward-thinking companies who recognize the value of their employees are placing a renewed emphasis on education and training; thus becoming more competitive, successful, and profitable as a result. According to a 2012 study conducted by Knowledge Assessment Management, companies in the top 20 percent of those who spend money on training receive higher returns for their shareholders. Therefore it can be asserted that knowledge equals profit.

Employee Training: Driving Down the Cost of Training

The new paradigm for training is shifting to an environment of continued learning and requires employers to view it as an inseparable part of performance improvement and management. Effective training and development has become an integral part of the overall business strategy and has been proven to directly align with measurable business results. Determining the company’s specific weaknesses and the goals it ultimately wants to achieve will help an organization streamline its training program and eliminate unnecessary costs while providing the biggest payback. As company budgets continue to shrink, HR and corporate training professionals are looking for creative, cost effective training options that can still get the job done without an expensive price tag. Below are 4 common training related challenges that employers encounter and tip for maximizing the value of a training strategy.

Top 4 Training Challenges and Tips for Creating Training Success

Challenge 1: On the job training is expensive and time consuming. Many companies still surrender to the archaic view that this type of training is a nonessential support tool, a perk, or an unavoidable human resources expense - a “sunk cost.” Such views severely devalue the role of training and are more vulnerable to damaged bottom lines. However, hands-on training can be very expensive and time consuming especially in today’s market. Generally speaking, this type of training platform takes management’s attention away from the goal of revenue-producing activities.

Tip 1: Leverage Technology. One suggestion for streamlining the training process is to implement an online Learning Management System that allows employees including new hires the ability to access job and company related information which provides the answers to the questions that would normally take up manager’s valuable time via a portal. The portal acts as a reference tool that the employee can access throughout the employment lifecycle. When considering training technology, it is important to search for an end-to-end learning solution that addresses all corporate learning needs and that can be well integrated with existing training and product content. It is easier, faster, less expensive and less resource-intensive to deploy e-learning within a single vendor environment. Many learning management systems allow users to add custom content including the ability to test employee learning and progress.

Top 4 Training Challenges and Tips for Creating Training Success

Challenge 2: The face of business is ever changing thus making it difficult to deliver consistent training across an entire organization. The globalization of many organizations has created a spike in workplace diversity. Because different cultures communicate, learn and retain information differently, companies must adapt to this to accommodate several learning styles.

Tip 2: Create a Culture of Learning. The reality is that if a business isn’t learning, it’s going to fall behind. It is important to communicate the expectation from the onset of employment that all employees have the means within the organization and outside the organization and should take the necessary steps to polish their skills and to expand developmentally so as to maintain a competitive edge. This can be supported by a company based “university”. It also is important to offer several training methods including a combination of on the job hands on training, e-learning, and classroom based training to support the differences of learning styles. This new culture of learning must begin with executive level support from the top down and filter through management. Many companies have even incorporated this concept into their mission and value statements.

Top 4 Training Challenges and Tips for Creating Training Success

Challenge 3: Budgets are tight and dedicated training staff has become too expensive to maintain.

Tip 3: Outsource your Training. Hire outside resources which specialize in developing effective training programs. Outsourced resources can range from an end to end “Instructional Design� firm that develops and implements an entire training strategy to industry specific trainers that deliver learning content in a classroom setting on an as needed basis. Using a variety of resources will help to maximize a company’s talent pool by ensuring that the proper succession plan and talent management processes are set in place so that the business can emerge successfully as the economy rebounds. Experts in this field can work with your leaders and employees to help instill the importance of a motivated and engaged workforce.

Top 4 Training Challenges and Tips for Creating Training Success

Challenge 4: Measuring the effectiveness and impact of training is difficult. Without measurable results that prove a positive return on investment, it is difficult to view training as anything but an expense.

Tip 4: Invest in Measuring the Results. It is important to view learning as a project, complete with objectives, sponsors, an implementation plan, and feedback to stakeholders. In fact, robust automated training measurement technology tools on the market to employers account for less than 5% of the overall training budget. It has been shown training measurement data can lead an organization to make significantly better decisions, thus making thus directly affecting the bottom line. If the training is measured using a uniform, consistent, or specific measurement methodology, it is much easier to for an organization to justify future to training budget funds if it can demonstrate solid results. The easiest way to do this is to track results and trends over time in a learning management system. Access to this data will allow a company to seamlessly measure the results of the training programs in place and make adjustments to the programs that do not perform at optimal levels.

Top 4 Training Challenges and Tips for Creating Training Success

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Amy Grimmer Amy Grimmer is President and Chief Executive Officer of Centripetal Consulting Group. Amy is responsible for driving the strategy and vision of Centripetal’s future. Amy’s experience in the human resource industry in both marketing and development capacities has made her an invaluable resource. She authors many articles relating to HR.

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Employee Training: Driving Down the Cost of Training  
Employee Training: Driving Down the Cost of Training  

Forward-thinking companies who recognize the value of their employees are placing a renewed emphasis on education and training.