Employees are every organization’s biggest asset. The new employee you hired yesterday and trained today will be your leader of tomorrow. A study by the American Banking Association (ABA) concluded “institutions that demonstrate the greatest commitment to human capital enjoy the greatest returns.” The good news is your employees feel the same and are receptive to developing their skills and learning new things.
In a bad economy, one of the first expenses to get cut is the training budget. The recent economic downturn was no exception. According to the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), there was a 21% reduction in all training budgets between 2007 and 2009. This figure was consistent over various professional industries. The good news is organizations have begun to increase their training budget over the last two years.
Training wasn’t the only casualty of a poor recession, as companies were forced to downsize and eliminate employee positions. Often the first to go are the higher paid managers, who are also usually the most experienced leaders. They have been replaced with less experienced managers who are struggling to learn on the fly how to supervise overworked and underdeveloped employees without themselves receiving the proper training to do so.
The fact that organizations are once again in the position to reinvest money into their employees through training and development initiatives is a welcomed sign. Now that the resources and desire are there, where should companies begin? An efficient training program cannot be purchased like a ski cap or new suit. One size does not fit most, and you can’t grab it off the rack and have it fit without needing alterations. The biggest concern I have is when one organization tries to copy another’s training program and deliver it verbatim. Design, modify, and evaluate your program based on the unique needs of your own organization and employees. In order to make sure the training is successful, make sure it is in alignment with your company’s culture and overall strategy. Establish metrics you can use to evaluate the effectiveness of your program in short and long-term periods.
Training on a budget? You don’t have to break the bank to create an effective program. Create a mentoring program where experienced leaders can help develop the soft skills of a new or potential manager. Perhaps a more technical-savvy employee can offer computer or social media tips someone not as skilled. You could also create a series of ‘lunch and learn’ segments where subject-matter experts can present focused learning on specific topics. Order a couple of pizzas for a more casual and appreciative audience.
However you design it, a powerful training and development program will boost productivity and retention. The investment you make in the growth of your employees will pay dividends in the long run.
In : Training
Tags: training and development new employees astd training program training budget