Learning and Development Budget – Every Little Helps
In these times of political and economic change, and for some companies the additional expense of the apprenticeship levy, making the most of your learning budget is high on all L&D Professionals agenda. So if you’re looking to invest your money wisely over the next financial year, here are some pointers to help you maximise the return on your investment…..
Plan and prioritise
The critical factor in deciding what and how to spend your budget should start with a thorough needs analysis. Sounds like common sense but it isn’t always common practise. Too often L&D Professionals find themselves swamped with ‘business critical’ requests. When you start to look at the root cause of many of such requests, it may not be what your stakeholder or indeed the business needs. Only when you truly understand the ‘needs’ of your stakeholders and the business can you start to consider how to spend any budget that you may have. This will help you to plan and prioritise any potential investment.
Blend your face to face offerings
Gone are the days when a blended solution was simply adding a piece of pre-course reading to a face to face workshop to label it a ‘blended’. Virtual classrooms, coaching, action learning sets and other digital & multimedia solutions to name a few are now becoming more common and cost effective development methods. However when finances are tight deciding which blend would really add value to your learners needs to be given careful consideration. Engaging with your key stakeholders within your business to understand what constraints could impact on the effectiveness of your blend is key to delivering success and getting the result you are looking for. Engaging with these stakeholders and agreeing on the most cost effective and developmentally impactful blend will enable your stakeholders to see real return on investment.
Increase or introduce informal / collaborative learning
Many businesses have access to or are considering implementing some kind of collaborative platform for delegates to continue their learning after any development programme or initiative. Use of these platforms should be encouraged and where possible to maximise the learning experience and should be sponsored by Senior Leaders to encourage their use where possible. If your business or audience doesn’t have access to these platforms and portals you can still encourage them to collaborate and share successes, challenges, etc by encouraging managers and groups to discuss key topics and themes from any programme at their team meetings or calls.
So if you’re looking to maximise a return on investment, plan – blend – collaborate. After all, every little helps……
If you’d like to discuss how we at OnTrack can help you, please drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01279 652255.