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Article: High Impact Training on a Shoestring Budget

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

We have all read articles that show great training increases employee engagement, retention and productivity. We have seen the results of great training, both personally and professionally, so I don’t have to convince you of its value. For many manufacturers, however, the desire and willingness to train is not the issue. It’s the budget.

Business experts recommend allocating two to three percent of your company’s budget to training, but most organizations set aside significantly less. Even companies that had great training budgets pre-pandemic may have reallocated those funds to support business efficiency since early 2020.

You don’t have to wait to ramp your budget back up to launch great training. Here are a few approaches you can implement immediately:

Ramp Up Your Technical Training

One great way to develop employees and increase engagement is by launching an “Experts Forum.” Make a list of employees who have consistently high performance and ask them to present to their peers or to a wider audience. If you have multiple locations, you could create forums by job category and allow employees to join via video conference. If you have enough experts, consider a five-minute presentation on the topic, hold a panel discussion with two-to-three employees and then opening it to all employees for Q&A. Remember to record the training, as you m

Rev Up Your eLearning

Some employees love eLearning, while others prefer face-to-face. Why not do both, and build employee comradery at the same time? Launch “learning circles” with eight to ten employees. These small groups view eLearning together and then discuss how to apply the learning into real life work situations. To support learning transfer, ask participants to select “accountability partners” and commit to applying an aspect of what they learned in their roles.

High Quality Freebies

Training can be high quality and free. Many non-profits, associations and trade groups provide free training on many topics. To get started, consider your topic and reach out to local chapters of national organizations like the National Society of Project Managers, National Society of Accountants or the Society of Women Engineers.

Don’t forget to ask for employee feedback and tweak your training to support greater impact in your company.

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