Just because the recovery is slow and budgets are still limited, doesn’t mean we can pass on employee training, development and learning. In this age of information blur, our employees must always be learning – employee training and development is critical. So when things get tough, the tough find clever ways to provide employee training on a shoestring.
Consider the following ways to keep learning on “go” when the education budget says “no:”
1. Solicit resources from employees – what are their favorite leadership, self-help, skill books and resources – and bring them to the workplace for others to use.
2. Solicit extra resources from local colleges – including texts or resources that are no longer part of a course or program.
3. Identify used copies of great resources by authors such as Seth Godin, Marcus Buckingham, John Fleming, Simon Sinek, Daniel Pink, Steve Farber, Paul Coehlo, Brian Tracy and others. Find them on e-Bay, Amazon.com, Thriftbooks.com, Barnes and Noble and others. Have the organization define the key resources they want, and charge employees with finding them at discounted rates.
4. Create a company library with resources sourced from others and from used copies of current resources.
5. Send one employee to a high-value conference with the requirement to share the message and skills of the conference with the company. Host a “Lunch and Learn” program to review what was learned at the conference.
6. Find on-line training programs that don’t require expensive travel. Have the same requirement to share information as in #5.
7. Give each employee a personal education budget and have them create their training plan with no more than the allocated funds. It is amazing how clever an employee can be when they control their own resources.
8. Develop in-house training for all of the most critical skills. Develop an incentive program for those involved in preparing and teaching skill training. Consider basing the incentive on improved results, not just on preparing and teaching.
9. Create an “on-the-job” academy. Have employees shadow more experienced employees as part of a skill development program.
10. Share training resources with another organization/partner with another organization; find another organization through networking, in a local chamber or in a professional association. Two organizations sharing resources can greatly expand what each organization has access to.
You know how when things get tight we seem to become more effective at rethinking how we do things, how we spend and how we can stretch a dollar. Well, the need for learning remains, even if the funds don’t. Employee training and development is critical for every organization to develop and maintain its edge. How have you been able to help your employees learn and grow even when the resources are limited?
Share your ideas. And for more management tips to help activate employee performance, see the tools on www.FireUpYourEmployees.com.