Spring has finally arrived and thank goodness for that. Not only does April bring sunny days and a new lease of life, for many, it brings new budgets too.
But with the B-word still dominating the media and uncertainty lingering, it’s no surprise that businesses across many sectors are being cautious. So, if your training budget isn’t quite as meaty as it used to be, here are some tried and tested ways of getting the biggest bang for your training buck…
Contrary to popular belief, workshops with actors don’t need to be more expensive than traditional classroom training. Not only that, they are more impactful too!
An off-the-shelf, one day classroom-based programme might cost as little as £70/delegate/day but a Forum Theatre based learning event with specialist facilitator and two actors can be as little as £30. (And even less for half-day programmes where we deliver two workshops in a day…)
But the numbers only work out if you have a bundle of people to train and operationally, you can take a large number off the job at any one time. If that is the case and you are looking at a subject that can be brought to life with actors – Diversity & Inclusion, Unconscious Bias, Inclusive Leadership, Customer Service, Performance Management, Interview Skills, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiation, Speaking Out, Conflict Management (to name just a few!), then this is most certainly a methodology to consider. It’s less expensive, more memorable and guaranteed to be talked about for a long time.
When designing a learning solution, it’s possible to separate the behaviour stuff (which is often better explored through group activity and face-to-face interaction) from the information or facts that could be imparted through cheaper formats like e-learning or video. If this means the difference between investing in a series of full day programmes or half day programmes it can make a noticeable difference to how far the budget will stretch.
Many of our customers don’t have the time or expertise to design innovative, cutting edge training solutions themselves. But they have in-house trainers, or training talent, that could roll training out if the resources were to hand.
We are seeing many more organisations, big and small, reduce their reliance on external providers by commissioning the design of tailor-made, branded training manuals for use in-house. Written as simple step-by-step instructions and accompanied by a thorough Train the Trainer to ensure programmes are delivered with confidence and integrity, this is a cost-effective, long-lasting solution worth consideration.
4. Managers toolkits (e-Less Learning™)
Sometimes getting the biggest bang for your buck means making the most from any investment made by sustaining the learning for the long-term.
A great way to do this is to equip managers with toolkits made up of a series of conversation starters or short, easy to use, 15-60 minute nuggets of learning that managers can pick from to use in team meetings, on-the-job, or as part of one-to-one coaching.
Not only is this an excellent way of giving managers more autonomy for the development of their team, it is a great way of promoting ‘Just in Time’ and ‘Just for Me’ learning. It is also a perfect approach for non-desk based or remote teams. And with managers in the background keeping alive the learning experienced in the classroom long before, you will no doubt see a strong return on your initial investment.
With custom-written scripts and a professional film crew we can replicate typical on-site scenarios for discussion and exploration in the training room that blow paper-based case studies out of the water.
Although some providers charge crazy amounts for these kinds of bespoke resources, they don’t need to be expensive. With a winning combination of superstar script writers, professional actors and a clever use of technology it can work out much cheaper than you think.
Once created, bespoke video resources can be used in a range of training programmes, induction, managers toolkits or even e-learning.
e-Learning has had a bad rep for a fair while, especially when it comes to soft skills, but there’s some good stuff out there these days. If budget is tight and you need to get a consistent message out to everyone quickly, then this might be a good way to go. It is especially valuable as part of a blended learning approach or refresher.
Look out for ‘Access All Plans’ where you pay a set amount per annum per user and get access to a whole suite of e-Learning programmes you can utilise organisation-wide.