How To Get The Most From Your Training Budget


A staggering 60 per cent of leaders are worried that the next generation of workers are not receiving adequate training, according to a survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). The same survey also found that current leaders are not satisfied with their company’s existing level of leadership, with two-thirds of those polled failing to rank their internal leadership courses as ‘high’.

As worrying as this news is, I wouldn’t say it is entirely accurate across the board. With budgets under pressure, organisations are simply having to be more selective about where top level training is delivered. My experience is contrary to the survey, where organisations are still providing leadership training, but just not with the same amount of company-wide visibility.

Many critics are quick to blame this problem on the economic downturn. But the tough financial climate has merely caused a shift in the types of training offered to workers. Agile organisations are sensibly looking to move away from expensive, traditional forms of training and are instead looking more cost-effective solutions like e-Learning.

There is no doubt that the corporate world still values the development of their employees, especially those who display potential and commitment, it just needs the right tools to build upon these good intentions.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking the next generation’s leadership crisis is tomorrow’s problem – with the right training, it can be fixed today. So what can today’s leaders do to combat this issue?

Stretch your budget

Many organisations can make the most of their training budget by implementing a blended learning solution. Both classroom and e-learning solutions have their unique benefits and since many students have different styles of learning, companies who use this strategy can see a boost in retention.

Track and measure effectiveness

Just throwing money at the problem isn’t the answer either. Companies need to be practical and precise in their execution of training programmes. This includes an on-going assessment that tracks and measures effectiveness of the course, and whether staff are incorporate what they learnt into their daily roles. If no one is absorbing and using the information, then both time and money are being wasted.

Play to your strengths

It’s a cliché but people really are your best asset. It is worth the time and money to train them properly, for their future and the company’s. In the hyper-competitive corporate world, having trained, skilled workers will give you an edge over the competition.

Think ahead

By training your employees today you are saving yourself a future headache when the time comes to appoint new leaders. A balance of skills and experience is needed to create an effective leader, so it is important to begin developing workers.

Tie it all together

The most effective training programmes are linked to the company’s corporate objectives, as well as tightly integrated with the company’s succession management. To produce the best results, all arms of an organisation need to work cohesively together.

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Kevin Young is Managing Director, EMEA, SkillSoft. Kevin has 20 years experience in the IT industry, 14 of which have been in the technology-based training sector. Before joining SkillSoft, Young headed up CBT Systems UK operations, managing a team of more than 40. Between 1990 and 1998 Young held a series of sales/senior management positions with NETg International. He established the UK Strategic Account Group in 1995 and was directly involved in signing the largest-ever UK technology-based training agreement, valued at $10 million over five years. From 1997 to 1998 Young was based in Australia, tasked with setting up NETg's AsiaPacific/Japanese operations. With a small team he grew the revenue base significantly, through the effective application of a direct and channel-based sales operation. Kevin has a BSc(Hons) in plant biology and geography from Newcastle University and was an associate member of the Institute of Personnel Management.