Training is one of the most essential investments for businesses.
But let’s admit it. It’s expensive. And it’s also one of the first things that companies decide to cut when they need to reduce expenses.
According to Training Magazine’s 2021 Training Industry Report, the training cost per employee is an average of $1,071. This can become a true hurdle for your company’s training budget for developing employees.
But at the same time, not offering career and development opportunities could mean that your people don’t have the chance to grow their skills. And as a consequence, they will decide to look elsewhere for a job. Somewhere where they’ll have more opportunities for growth.
It’s getting obvious that quality employee training and development shouldn’t be overlooked.
Compromising between training your people and saving money can be tricky. The good news is there are plenty of workarounds to cut spending on employee development but not settle on training quality.
But before you start thinking about how to cut training expenses, you need to know how much exactly your training costs you.
How much do you really spend on training?
Have you ever thought about how much employee training costs your company? At first glance, the cost of training employees might not seem so high. However, there are many areas where you spend money. For example, your LMS subscription, workshops, and online courses. But these are the obvious costs. What about hidden training costs you should factor in?
Some training costs that affect your training budget can be subscription fees to video conferencing platforms for your remote teams, travel expenses for those who participate in in-office training, the compensation of employees who are being trained while taking time off work, experts and coaches’ salaries, expired software licenses, tools you’re not using anymore, and more.
With these in mind, it can be difficult to imagine how to plan a low-cost employee training strategy. But by thoroughly analyzing and evaluating your expenses, you can reduce the cost of training and create a well-planned L&D strategy.
6 ways to deliver low-cost employee training
As mentioned above, completely abandoning employee training is not the solution to cut costs. All you need is to plan a careful strategy, evaluate, see what your teams need, and, most importantly, set clear priorities. Below you will find useful tips for creating cost-effective employee training programs that hit the mark.
1. Invest in virtual training
In-person training includes costs like travel expenses, venue hire, and in some cases, catering. Virtual training, on the other hand, will help you eliminate such costs without compromising on quality.
By leveraging video conferencing solutions, it’s possible to deliver low-cost employee training virtually while saving travel, accommodation, and catering money. With online training, you can offer your teams a high-quality training experience as it allows:
- Recording: Video conferencing software allows you to record training sessions, making it easier for your learners to revise training material by pausing, replaying, or accessing it later on–anytime, anywhere. This means you don’t have to repeat in-person sessions after a while, or reschedule them and spend again a lot of money.
- Consistency: In case you’re offering remote or hybrid work models in your organization, it can be hard for your remote workforce to have consistent training. But with virtual training, you have the ability to provide your learners with a consistent and high-quality training experience at a very low cost. With in-person training, it’s harder to achieve consistency, as training sessions are more expensive, and you might end up scheduling just a few instead of having them regularly.
2. Develop in-house training
Outsourcing the creation of training content is convenient.
But you don’t have to hire professional instructional designers—that’d be costly. If you want to create your training materials in-house, and save some money, you can ask your more experienced employees to help you out. For example, you can ask them to host some presentations for their colleagues, point out some helpful resources that you can share with your teams, or/and review material you have created.
In order to succeed in the course development process without breaking the bank, you can do the following:
- Curate online content
- Evaluate current content
- Ask your teams what skills and topics they need to explore and focus on these specific areas
- Which activities help with content retention
- Explore the most common mistakes your employees make
3. Build a mentorship program for onboarding
On-the-job training is one of the best ways to achieve low-cost employee training and not compromise on reaching your L&D strategy’s objectives when it comes to onboarding. As mentoring and remote coaching are among the top trends in employee development, it’s wise for your organization to give them a go.
Think about how many experts and people with outstanding knowledge and talent you have in your teams. All of them could act as mentors in training new hires. And apart from reducing the cost of onboarding new employees, you will reap all benefits of mentoring, like:
- An ongoing learning culture within your organization
- Professional development of both parties (mentor and mentee)
- Lower turnover rates and improved job satisfaction
4. Make processes reproducible
Delivering training shouldn’t be a one-time event. Training content should be reusable to save you money and time. Especially when it comes to onboarding new hires. Thus, your goal is to develop an onboarding strategy that is scalable and reproducible.
An onboarding process and experience can be pre-made, as it’s overall the same for everyone who joins your company. At least, the fundamental parts of onboarding, like getting to know the team, policies, compliance rules, etc. Of course, for specific roles among your teams that need their own processes, you will need to make adjustments to the training content. But if the main onboarding process is uniform, then you’ll end up with a lot less to adjust.
By making the onboarding experience standardized, you can achieve low-cost employee training, but also ensure that all your people receive the same high-quality training. And a great onboarding experience can boost productivity, engagement, and staff retention.
5. Select the right training platform
The training platform that you choose for your employee training can make a true difference when it comes to cutting the cost of training. As such, it’s essential to conduct thorough research and carefully check reviews and product ratings while browsing for an LMS. There are plenty of solutions for businesses, but not all of them can cater to your own specific needs.
Some tools can look promising, but might be hard to use for learners, content creators, administrators, or instructors. Try out demo versions of software to make sure they are user-friendly and offer the set of features you’re looking for (mobile compatibility, integrated video conferencing tools, automations, gamification, etc.)
When your training platform is the perfect fit for your organization, you can rest assured that learning will be engaging, effective, and easy to develop, without spending too much money and time.
6. Opt for microlearning
Focus on building short courses that target specific training needs instead of investing in costly, comprehensive training programs. Employees might prefer those bite-size lessons.
Employee training can be long, tiring, and draining. Your teams need to get their tasks done, and keep on with their day-to-day. Hence, a long training session can take up a lot of their time and energy, affecting productivity, engagement, and your ROI.
Microlearning is the perfect solution for both your in-office and remote teams. Learning is delivered in bite-sized chunks that seem appealing to modern learners’ needs and attention spans. It’s fast, accessible anytime-anywhere, and enables you to achieve low-cost employee training as mini-courses are less expensive to buy and faster to create.
No training = more expenses
Never forget that zero training can skyrocket your expenses.
Errors and accidents happen due to lack of skills. Job advertising and hiring costs arise when people quit because they don’t get development opportunities. And time and money get lost when processes are repeated over and over again due to knowledge gaps.
Proper education on a professional level can boost productivity and minimize errors and expenses. And this is something that you can achieve only with quality yet low-cost employee training opportunities for your people.
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