Learning and Development on a Budget

Learning and Development on a Budget

Organisations of all sizes have probably never had such a focus on reducing costs than they have just now and it’s a common thought that one of the first areas to be hit by budget cuts is learning and development. This being despite the false economy created as a result of organisations becoming less efficient, competitive and forward thinking. 

Learning and Development professionals are being asked to provide more for less and so it is vitally important that time is spent reviewing the way the Learning & Development function is delivering its service to the business

The ideal starting point for this is to look at the current situation with L&D in your organisation;

  • how much is being spent on learning and its delivery and how is this making a difference and adding value? 
  • Is learning and development aligned to meeting business objectives and needs? 
  • Are business priorities being met?
  • Does the current provision include anything that isn’t needed right now? 

Examine the costs associated with delivery and consider whether learning is being delivered in the most cost-effective way. Online learning, for example, is known to be one of the most cost-effective delivery methods and is certainly worth considering. It is important though to consider areas of development where eLearning would work for your organisation and how it will improve and add value to the experience and the outcome. 

Identify the priorities for your business and determine if learning needs are being linked to business objectives. Consider each piece of learning and development against these business priorities – if that particular course stopped running or was delayed, would it have an effect on ability to meet business objectives?  

Most learning and development is delivered through a blend of activities, some of which are more cost-effective than others. Identify the most costly approaches to learning or the most expensive courses delivered in your organisation and ask whether even just one aspect of it can be changed to a more cost-effective intervention – perhaps delivering an aspect of knowledge by online learning. 

But delivering learning and development in a more efficient and added-value way is not just about moving to eLearning. There are other ways to learn, using resources that already exist in the organisation and that develop not just the learner, but the individual facilitating that learning. Learning through work-based experience, coaching and group discussion for example, are rich in opportunity to develop skills and transfer knowledge throughout the organisation. Action learning groups, communities of practice and problem solving groups encourage people to share their experiences and best practice and help to reduce silo working, providing insight into the impact that our actions in the workplace can have on others. 

As well as opportunities for learning within the organisation, look externally – perhaps you can partner with a group of organisations to provide joint learning opportunities that reduce the cost per head? Look for free training events – private sector businesses as well as local authorities often run free workshops that can be accessed and provide a great chance to network. 

To summarise then, despite the pressure on learning and development professionals to provide more for less, it is definitely possible to live up to this challenge by taking stock of how the L&D function is currently providing a service and then to think about how this is achieved. 

So how is your organisation managing its training budget? Have you incorporated any innovative ways of saving money whilst still delivering as required? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Contact us at cHRysos HR Solutions if you need help with any aspect of HR within your business.

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cHRysos HR Solutions is a Doncaster based HR training and consultancy company providing CIPD accredited qualifications, Apprenticeships, Training and HR Services to SMEs nationwide. For more information about how cHRysos HR can help you or your teams successfully achieve further qualifications, contact us on info@chrysos.org.uk or call +44 (0)1302 802128.