Best practices

6 tips to stretch your onboarding training budget today

How to sort your onboarding training budget - TalentLMS blog

Online training of any kind saves your company a significant amount of money – especially when compared to site-based programs. However, there are still ways to cut costs and stretch your budget when developing new-hire online training courses.

Employee training expectations and how to meet them

When you onboard new team members digitally, it saves time and resources. They can incorporate their orientation into their workday. They don’t have to lose a week doing seminars.

However, when corporate belts are tight, you have to get creative. Online training tools can still apply, but you need to expand your training material without extending your budget. And you have to do it in a way that doesn’t put off your new hires. You don’t want to scrimp so much that they start refreshing their CVs. Here are 6 pocket-friendly suggestions to stretch your onboarding training budget.

1. Incorporate current online training material

Most online training content is intended to be evergreen. You buy or develop it once and own it forever. However, you must periodically refresh your onboarding training course. There may be new regulations or adjustments in your sector. Or maybe you have a wave of new hires and you want to try something different with them. But what if you simply don’t have the money (or time) to develop an entirely new onboarding course?

Look at what you already have and compare it with new data. Change is gradual, so even if there are new ideas to share, it’s usually not necessary to start from scratch. Work with the online training modules you have and see how to tweak them.

You may need to add a video or two to address specific needs, such as a student hire. Or maybe you’ll need a translated module. In many cases, there’s no need to reinvent the L&D wheel. Stretch your onboarding budget by getting creative and evaluating your current eLearning course design to look for areas of improvement.

2. Repurpose existing online training resources

There may be times when the content you have is irrelevant and out of date. Imagine trying to teach a computer science graduate about rotary phones. Still, you don’t have to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.

Dated online training material can be used in a ‘history lesson’ for before-and-after comparisons. Video clips can be used as a template script for something modified. You could dub fresh dialogue or change the subtitles. It’s cheaper than recording afresh.

Animated characters and pop-up roles can still be used. Just storyboard them into a different context or update their wardrobe. If the previous in-course helper had an 80s perm or bell-bottoms and pumps, change their clothes.

3. Build a buddy system

It’s not just a fitness tactic. Working with a partner motivates you when your inspiration is lagging. In a corporate setup, contextual onboarding is a gift, and not just to your budget.

Pair your newbies with employees who’ve been there longer. There doesn’t have to be an age gap. In fact, colleagues of the same age may get along better.

There are two ways to approach peer-based coaching. You can pair the new hire with a senior employee because they have a lot to teach. Or you could match them with the most recent hire before them. This ‘mentor’ won’t have as much experience, but they’re still fresh. They have a better perception of what may interest or intimidate this new person. They know because they were so recently in the same position. This makes the ‘young’ mentor a perfect corporate tour guide.

4. Utilize free online training tools

These days, you can learn anything on YouTube. There are tutorials on everything from pronunciation to troubleshooting tech issues. Just do a quick YouTube search and you’ll probably find how-to videos that are relevant to your needs.

You can also use social media platforms for brainstorming and group discussions. It’s a great low-pressure way to find out where your team is at in terms of training. If you really do want to develop new online training materials, use rapid eLearning authoring tools to cut costs and turnaround times. Especially platforms that feature built-in assets and templates. Also, keep an eye on the accounts of industry experts who are willing to share low-cost resources.

5. Launch social media onboarding groups

This is another great way to stretch your onboarding training budget while making the most of knowledge sharing.

Start a closed social media group or exclusive corporate eLearning blog/online discussion for your new hires. Post resource links that cover all the essential onboarding topics. Then invite your new employees to join and share their experiences, tips, and questions. They’re able to empathize with their coworkers about the challenges they face, as well as offer advice on how to get the most from the online training resources.

6. Turn experienced employees into event hosts

Invite your more seasoned staff members to host online training events that involve their area of expertise. Not only do they benefit new hires who attend the live event, but you can record it for later viewing.

This means that a one-off webinar becomes a valuable online training resource for years to come. You even have the option to convert it into a series of microlearning tools to offer just-in-time support for new employees.

We all know that cloud-based training is the best way to save money in online training. However, there are times when even cost-effective corporate eLearning requires some budget cuts. Some online training sessions can be passed over when funds are low, but onboarding new team members is essential.

To save money and stretch those purse strings, review current online training materials and update them. If they can’t be reused, then modify them for a related purpose. Couple your existing employees with new hires so they can train each other while they work. And instead of forcing your employees off social media, make it a part of your onboarding process and overall online training strategy.

Whether you’re working with unlimited resources or trying to make the most of a shoestring budget, bridging skill gaps is a top priority. Read more on how to bridge skill gaps fast in onboarding training to discover more tips.

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