The financial year is coming to a close and the beginning of the next looms before us. We’d be lying if we said we haven’t joined the corporate masses in reciting the age-old EOFY adage: “why have I left this to the last minute?”
While juggling numbers, reports, and meetings, it’s tempting to cut some corners and rely on last year’s training budget. However, much like the dark side of the force, this option will only leave you sorry; perhaps even permanently mutilated, forever relying on a cumbersome apparatus to breathe. Like any aspect of a business, training budgets need to consider the annual changes and growth of the workforce. They need to be adjusted accordingly in order to meet organisational goals in following and future years. With a little bit of planning and a dash of innovation, you may even find a lower budget with more options that set a foundation for your business’ future, helping you to build a long-term training strategy!
To tackle the budgeting beast, you need to look at everything from training materials and staff to accommodation and catering. So, what are the most cost, time, and stress effective solutions to using your training budget for maximum benefit?
New or Renew?
Sometimes, your training will need a complete, Princess Diaries-style makeover. Sometimes, you can simply renew existing training. Take a good, long look at your current training programs. Do you need to update your content due to changes in your company, products or legislation? Is your content up-to-date but the delivery and presentation in need of improvement?
While they may seem insignificant, these are the factors that your entire training budget depends upon. If the delivery is fine but the content needs work, you probably only need to allow for a slightly higher than usual budget on top of your basic training costs. However, if your content is ready to go but you need to Mia Thermopolis-ify the delivery, you will have to take a few more numbers into consideration.
You might need to budget for the time to find an appropriate training provider. Alternatively, you could get your consulting department to identify the best strategy. And don’t forget purchasing or developing new training material! If you want to move your training online, you’ll also need to look into the construction and design of online content. That can also involve audio and video production, online assessment, IT infrastructure and software and/or a software provider. On the other side of the coin (get it? Budget? Coin? Anyone?), you’ll have to consider the savings that an online solution will make to your budget. Specifically regarding trainers, staff and replacement time, accommodation, location, catering, and administration.
Use a Small Budget to Set Foundations
If 2005 cinematic masterpiece Hoodwinked taught us anything, it’s to BE PREPARED.
If you know that you’ll only have a small budget for next year’s training, plan it with the following years in mind to make the best out of it. In other words, set a foundation for the following year.
You can use a small budget to create an in-depth strategy by conducting a training needs analysis. (for more info what this important-sounding word actually means, read our blog HERE). These analyses’ leave you with the clear costs and savings of different training strategies, which will make future budget planning a lot easier. They’ll also give you an overview of your options. You’ll know what you’ll have to take into consideration when planning your training budget, and what you won’t.
Depending on the size of your current training budget, you may have the chance to take steps towards your most informed, effective workforce. Rather than a complete training overhaul, starting with small changes to your current materials will lead to savings. Plus, a talking point at the next EOFY meeting that will almost always lead to larger training budgets in following years.
Switch to eLearning to Save Money Long-Term
For some of you, all this talk of budget costs may be invoking a dragon-hoarding-gold feeling within you. Switching to an eLearning-based training system does come with its costs. However, it is never more costly than sticking to current face-to-face training programs in the long run. This is a tried-and-true concept proven countless times over recent years, from McDonalds saving $8.5 million and seeing a 10% sales growth over 2 years after switching to eLearning to Compass Group, who saved $870 thousand in six months after the switch. You will still need to consider the costs of new or updated material, content production, hosting costs and IT infrastructure. This is especially vital if you want visuals, animation, or video, all of which are integral to effective online training.
However, removing the costs of accommodation, travel, staff time away from the business, trainers, catering, and even administration associated with traditional training will, ultimately, save you huge expenses in following years. eLearning presents you with the opportunity to use your training budget, no matter the size, to build a long-term strategy to achieve business goals.
Meet Your Desired Coverage and Budget
From start-ups that need to meet compliance standards or aim for growth in sales numbers to multi-branch organisations that need a holistic analysis throughout multiple departments, VMP eLearning have the right process to meet your desired coverage and budget! Absorbed into the final eLearning project costs, our Training Needs Analysis is a crucial step for any business wanting to get the most out of their workforce.
To discuss your company’s needs and the opportunity to get the best out of your workforce using educational science and tailored solutions, contact us today for an obligation-free appointment.
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