Employee training is a necessary part of doing business. You need skilled workers who are knowledgeable and confident. Education is the best way to achieve that goal. However, that training will come at a cost.
While in training, your new hires likely won’t be producing. And you may have to pull employees away from their teams to allow them to work through courses related to their job roles or career goals. That means lost profits during that time. The good news is that you have a lot to gain once your team is well-trained and compliant if required.
The Association for Talent Development reported that an average of $1,252 is spent to train one employee. That amount will vary significantly from one organization to the next.
Several factors also apply. For example, a larger company may have a lower per employee training cost compared to a small business. That’s because the disruption is more significant for a smaller operation. Large companies may also be able to get better rates on supplies, technology, and subscriptions because they are training a higher number of employees.
Other factors that influence cost include the level of training and experience the employee already has, the type of training required, and “hidden” expenses like transportation, printing fees, administrative fees, and food or accommodations for off-site training.
The good news is that there are many things you can do to lower the cost of employee training without reducing quality.
- Start a Mentorship Program to Share Knowledge
Mentorship programs are becoming increasingly popular among today’s businesses. You can use experienced workers that are already a part of your team to help train new hires. Their jobs will be to instruct trainees on best practices, policies, and how to work efficiently.
Having an existing employee handle training is cost-effective. It also helps newcomers get the support they need from someone that they will be working with daily. Having that connection can build confidence and help them find answers when they have questions.
Depending on how complex the job role is, some companies may have a mentorship program that is a large portion of training while others may use it to supplement a training course.
- Eliminate Travel Costs with Virtual Training
Long ago, companies would send employees to off-site training. This was the only option when they couldn’t provide adequate training on-site. It worked, but it wasn’t the most cost-effective solution.
First, the company would have to pay for the training. Even if they had a trainer on their payroll, they would likely have to cover venue rental fees. Then there’s the cost of travel, whether the company provided it or paid mileage for the trainee to get there. If training was more than a couple of hours and/or far away, then food and accommodation may be needed.
Virtual training allows anyone to learn from anywhere. No travel is needed. All they have to do is log into a webinar or portal and join the online class. The courses themselves tend to cost less and eliminate the need for the extras like transport and food.
If your organization is still sending workers away for training, now is the time to look into eLearning.
- Use an LMS That Meets Your Training Needs
There is no shortage of LMS platforms available today. The LMS or learning management system serves as a central hub for all your training needs. Today’s versions have a long list of features.
Most offer course authoring while some also connect to third party marketplaces where you can buy and import training to save time. They also have social features like forums, online chat, and comments. If your training requires a lot of collaboration, consider something with a virtual whiteboard and live classrooms.
If you plan to use a hybrid training model, look for an LMS that supports both online and offline activities. These allow you to record what is done offline so you have an ongoing record of progress for each trainee. You should also learn how to optimize your LMS for a hybrid work environment to get the most out of it.
- Switch to an Efficient Microlearning Format
Microlearning is a great choice for employee training. It reduces the amount of time required to learn while increasing the amount of information retained. The retention rate for microlearning falls between 70% and 90%. That’s a huge jump from the 15% average reported in traditional training classes.
Microlearning takes information and breaks it down into bite-sized pieces. By creating small modules that focus on one topic or a part of a topic, you can make training much easier and more rewarding for your team.
- Create a Centralized Repository for Training Resources
No one remembers every word they hear or read in their training courses. Having access to training resources outside of the classroom will help as new hires join your team. That access also encourages trainees to be more self-sufficient. If they can look up answers on their own, then they won’t have to take up the time of their trainers or mentors.
When looking for an LMS, find something that includes a centralized repository for all training resources. Most modern versions are searchable and support all media types, including documents, audio files, and videos.
You can also check out LMS.org to read LMS reviews and see which new platforms offer repositories or similar features.
- Re-Use Existing Training Assets for New Courses
There’s no reason to teach something twice when you use eLearning. Instead, you can create one class, module, or video for a specific topic and reuse it across multiple courses.
This is a good way to cut your training costs when teaching topics that pop up frequently. A good LMS will allow you to pull existing content into a new course so you can add it instantly without having to recreate it every time.
- Tap into the Power of Your Subject Matter Experts
Your team most likely contains subject matter experts. These are people who have extensive knowledge about some aspects of your business.
Make sure you utilize their power to keep your training costs down. These are people who could serve as mentors. They can also help create content for your training program.
They are also a valuable source of feedback. Have subject matter experts go through your training materials and identify anything that is inaccurate, lacking, or missing.
- Continue Assessing Your Training Program
No training program is perfect. Even if you think yours is close, chances are new technology or practices will emerge that might shift how things are done in your industry. That means your training program will need an update.
Continue assessing your training program through feedback and analytics. This information can help you get more value out of every dollar you invest in training. You may learn how to increase compliance training engagement, which will get better results. Or you may discover knowledge gaps that aren’t being filled by your current courses.
A good training program will get your employees up to speed quickly but do so at a cost that won’t consume your budget.