I recall a recent discussion with one of our business clients. It was after 5pm and as he turned to me, he said “the firm’s greatest assets are now in the lifts as they leave the building for the day.”
If people are our greatest asset then why do businesses invariably cut the training budget in difficult times? The answer is — it’s easy to do and achieves an immediate cost saving.
This is where the real problem lies. Highly trained and engaged people are critical to the success of any business, especially in difficult times.
In order to attract and retain the best people businesses should carefully review their approach to training on an ongoing basis.
Training budgets should be maintained for the following reasons:
- Key people retention — structured and regular training promotes job satisfaction and engagement, resulting in reduced turnover.
- Retention of skills — delivery of service/product and innovation requires capable people.
- Efficiency gains — there is a strong link between effective training and productivity gains which will benefit the business in the short term and into the future.
- Risk management — cutting training in areas such as Workplace Health and Safety could put the business at risk of a negligence action.
- Reputation — maintaining training will preserve the reputation of the business from both a client’s and employee’s perspective.
Budgeting in tough times requires analysis and innovation to survive today and grow in the future. The following tips should help you balance training needs and costs:
- Use technology such as webinars and online tools.
- Conduct training in short periods such as over lunch.
- Build on your internal knowledge base using an intranet.
- Limit attendees at formal sessions and have them share training upon return.
- Attend free industry/association seminars.
Our Outsourced CFO service assists business owners to maximize their return from their business. Please contact David or John on 07 3221 4465 if you have any questions about this article or need any assistance with working on your business.