Your employees are the true assets of your organization. Providing employee development opportunities will lead to better employee performance, greater employee engagement, and at the end of the day a healthier bottom line.
It is easy to cut development budgets in the face of financial adversity, but it is crucial that you don’t cut the learning opportunities that help your people thrive each day. A good employee development program will also be critical in preparing for the ever-changing workplace environment to come.
Here are four ways you can continue employee development even if budgets are cut.
1. Align Your Learning Objectives to Organizational Goals
When budgets are tight, you will want to show your managers that your employee development programs are linked to organizational goals. For example, a sales training program can generate more profits, or marketing training can generate more leads.
During uncertain times and when budgets are tight, you will need to adapt your employee development program to shifting organizational strategy. Ensure your training program’s goals are always aligned with your organization’s objectives.
2. Narrow Your Focus
When budgets are tight, focus on high impact development opportunities for narrow audiences. Identify an area of development that will be impactful and relevant to current business objectives for different employee groups.
Programs that are commonly offered to a wider audience should only be available to those who need it most. This does not mean excluding some employees, but rather being strategic with development opportunities. Each employee should be limited to development that is most relevant to their role.
3. Create a Virtual Network of Learners
E-learning and alternative learning models are a great resource for learning and development managers. These development platforms offer affordable and flexible opportunities for employees.
Employees can access the resources they need and want and undertake the learning in their own time and on their own schedule. You can also offer access to free courses run by many institutions such as Yale.
This leads to a more individualized focus where staff, with the support of their managers, can find the right learning outcomes for them. This also creates connection, inclusion, and better learning outcomes.
As e-learning programs are more widely implemented, we are getting a better understanding of their efficacy. Research has shown that blended learning produces the best outcomes. So alternative learning should be on your agenda.
4. Build a Learning Culture
One of the things you can always work on for free is culture. Spending time creating a powerful learning culture now will pay dividends in the future.
Facilitating open and peer-to-peer learning through employee collaboration, feedback, and dialogue will see your employees take ownership of their own learning and will utilize the resources available to them without supervision.
A great starting point is a strengths-focuses learning approach. Strengths develop infinitely, meaning we can always get better. Investment in strengths reduces resistance to training, creating higher engagement and better outcomes.
For your business, investment in strengths will bring long-term benefits as employees feel support and empowered to contribute to your organization. Strengths-based training increases productivity and reduces turnover.
Continuing Essential Employee Development
Good employee development programs not only support your employees but deliver on organizational objectives. It is one of the best investments you can make in your business. After all, your employees are your most valuable asset.
For more employee development or HR, insights check out the rest of our blog.