Need-to-Know Training

Everyone feels pinched these days, with most organizations cutting way back on training expenditures. Many companies seek newer, cheaper ways to deliver necessary training, with an emphasis on necessary. (Training topics considered “unnecessary” can include communications, interpersonal skills, negotiating, and general finance.) Some companies require a minimum number of participants in each class, others have limited the frequency of training events, and others are eliminating those non-essential topics.

On the other hand, companies must not lose sight of the fact that some formazione is essential. This includes training that is mandated by law or compliance requirements, training that impacts the customer or brand, courses that are safety-related or government regulated, and those that may mitigate risk.

Here is an example. More discrimination claims are filed during poor economic times. It is important for organizations to be able to provide proof of training on such topics as ethics, harassment, discrimination, and wage and hour compliance. Such proof will provide crucial defense in the event of litigation. It is important to spend money as wisely as possible and determine what is essential to your company’s survival – what courses are truly need-to-know vs. nice-to-know.

Here are some ideas for cutting back creatively:

  • Cut travel costs – use e-learning, videoconferences
  • Piggyback training – provide a class on the same day as a regional meeting
  • Increase classroom fill rates – run fewer and larger classes
  • Shift schedules – provide training during breaks, lunches, before/after hours
  • Eliminate catering – have brown-bag lunch sessions
  • Maximize employee knowledge – via mentoring, coaching, shadowing
  • Develop a wiki database – create an open-source (free) database/knowledgebase for employees
  • Put training online – convert existing classroom courses to e-learning
  • Implement free communication tools – such as Skype, Moodle
  • Encourage free courses provided by top universities (MIT, UC Berkeley), free downloadable podcasts of business lectures (Stanford U), free software training courses (Microsoft,

Keep an open mind and you will be able to find even more ways to save money while still providing the training your organization needs to succeed during these tough times.

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