Maintaining a competitive advantage in your industry requires you to have talented and knowledgeable people on your payroll. And in order to keep your staff up to date on the latest trends and developments, you have to make an investment in regular education and training. But as you’ve noticed, the costs can quickly add up. Learning how to lower these costs will make effective training a more feasible task.
Smart Ways to Lower Employee Training Costs
Employee training programs can be expensive. According to one study on the topic, organizations spend an average of $1,208 per employee. For smaller companies with fewer than 500 employees, that number is closer to $1,888 per employee. Then there’s the time aspect. Companies spend an average of 31.5 hours per year training employees, which is time that could otherwise be dedicated towards sales.
But as expensive as employee training can be, it’s even more costly to not implement a training or education program.
“It’s easy to think of training as an expense with uncertain return, rather than an investment in the sustainable growth of your business,” eLearning expert Nikos Andriotis acknowledges. “But while there’s no denying that a corporate training program entails costs (some of them might be harder to quantify than others), the lack of training in the workplace poses its own risks, and can, in fact, be more expensive than the cost of the training itself.”
Without proper training, businesses often suffer from high employee turnover, fail to exploit the full value of new hires, miss out on establishing competitive advantages, fail to maximize productivity, and come up short in terms of creativity and innovation.
So the question isn’t: how can your business avoid training costs? The question you should be asking is: how can we mitigate the cost of employee training in a way that maximizes our ROI?
Here are some good ways to get started down this path:
- Use a Learning Management System
If you’re developing custom learning materials from scratch, look into using a Learning Management System (LMS) to structure the course and organize the material. An LMS solution makes it easy to create modules, lessons, courses, grading, feedback, etc.
There are a couple of different types of LMS. There’s SaaS LMS, which is cloud-based and requires a monthly fee. The benefit is that it’s managed off-site and doesn’t require a significant in-house technology infrastructure. Then there’s self-hosted LMS, which is software that you purchase and own. The benefit of the latter is that you have full control.
Neither SaaS nor self-hosted LMS is better. It all depends on your needs and the mitigating factors in your situation.
- Leverage Video
Most of your employees are going to be visual learners. In other words, they find it easier to process and retain information when it’s presented through images, graphics, and video. The latter medium is particularly effective.
According to Intelligent Video Solutions, “Using video for corporate training lowers costs by reducing the need for live onsite training sessions and eliminating expenditures related to travel and the creation of physical classrooms.
Play around with video and consider recording your training sessions for future use. It’s well worth the upfront investment.
- Outsource When Possible
“If your learning content is not very specific you can handle the learning over to a company which provides such services,” entrepreneur Bobby Handzhiev suggests. “You can even just buy access to appropriate courses at Udemy and similar learning sites and just not spend any internal resources on this.”
Sometimes outsourcing is too expensive, but when it comes to generic content, it tends to be the most cost-effective option for small businesses of less than 500 employees.
- Improve the Hiring Process
One surefire way to lower the cost of employee training is to hire employees who already possess the skills and knowledge they need to excel in their positions. Though this is often much easier said than done.
By enhancing your hiring process and using rigorous interviewing techniques to whittle down your list of candidates to the most qualified individuals, you can streamline the onboarding process and reduce the learning curve.
Adding it All Up
Employee training is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be overly expensive. By planning ahead and identifying areas of high need, you can maximize every dollar spent and reap the rewards that come with having a highly educated and innovative workforce.