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Top tips for planning your training and development budget

Now is the ideal time to start to look ahead and make plans for your business before the new financial year starts. Part of this process is to review and assess where you are now and determine where you want to be in the future. An essential aspect of this plan is the people behind your business and the contributions they make. What training and development will they require over the next 12 months?

When times are tough for businesses, it can be tempting to cut costs for employee learning and development. This may make an immediate saving, but it will have longer term implications. 

Not investing in your staff leads to a higher staff turnover. If people don’t feel valued or they feel bored and that they have limited opportunity to progress in their role, they’ll look for other options with employers who will provide what is lacking currently. Upskilling and reskilling increases staff satisfaction and retention. It’s important to weigh up the considerable recruitment and onboarding costs that can be avoided if you train and retrain existing staff.

Then there’s the cost of standing still and not evolving your business. Whilst you stay put, your competitors move ahead and build their market share. You’ll miss out on new opportunities and revenue streams.

Here are 8 simple ways to plan training and development for the year ahead.

Focus on strategy

Think strategically to create the best possible training and development plan for your business. Having a specific budget for training forces you to do just that - be strategic. Focus on the areas that will make the most impact on your business.

Forecast the ways your business needs to evolve

Your training and development plan works in tandem with your business’ strategic plan. The key reason for training your staff is to ensure that they have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to implement your strategic plan and company objectives. So, you need to forecast the ways in which you’ll activate the strategic plan and drive your business to achieve its goals.

Identify skills gaps

Once you know the strategic plan, you can determine the skills required to achieve it. Assess the current skills landscape and forecast short and long-term knowledge gaps. This will inform the training and development needed by people in the business.

Assess your team’s situation

Find out how your team is feeling. That could be with a survey or one-to-one conversations. Discover their existing needs, career development aims and possible frustrations. This assessment will inform your training priorities and individual development plans.

Align corporate goals with specific training objectives

List out those goals for the year ahead and determine the best courses or training programmes to help you reach them. Bespoke courses are ideal for this. Tailor-made programmes are created with your business in mind. As such, the knowledge shared will accurately reflect your company’s strategy and direction. Your employees will take away actionable, relevant knowledge to use in your business.

Determine the ROI of training

How can you justify the outlay of training courses? Show the economic benefits that a training programme will bring. It may be tangible benefits like increased sales, improved productivity, more efficient processes, or new services to offer. Then there are the softer benefits like happier staff, more positive attitudes, better teamwork, or the ability for individuals to work more independently with their new skills.

Explore learning solutions

When you determine the cost of training, you also need to think about additional factors. This can include the costs of travel, facilities, and accommodation at external venues. Virtual learning can reduce these costs significantly.

We offer an array of flexible learning solutions that can save you time and money. For example, a series of shorter training sessions may suit your team better than full days away from the workplace.

Consider payment options

Look out for flexible payment plans that can help with budgets. Spreading payment over several months can really help with cash flow.

Another beneficial offering is the e-Careers Skills Pass. It’s like a gift card for training. Prepay for your team’s training for the year ahead whilst retaining flexibility over what the learning entails. It’s a great way of controlling your training budget. You know exactly what you’ve spent and you can access training as and when required.

Plan your training budget to drive success

Spending the time to create an informed strategic plan at the start of the year will pay dividends over the months ahead. You can make decisions on staff training and development that are based on research, business requirements and, importantly, your people.

We’re here to help with that. Chat to our friendly experts about bespoke training, flexible payment options and the ways in which we can help your business to evolve.

Discuss your options with one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0) 20 3800 0144 or request a call back.

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