Penny pinching can be a virtue in moderation, especially when it comes to the IT budget. When resources are limited, you want to make the best of what you have, and that means providing good training. Ed Tittel writes for CIO.com with six ways to keep the cost of training to a minimum.
Pinch Every Penny, Strangle Every Dollar
- Partner with employees—split training costs.
- Negotiate discounts to control costs.
- Purchase key items in bulk.
- Assemble employee study groups and resources.
- Provide recognition and rewards to those who succeed.
- Ask for ideas and suggestions; then act upon them.
It is becoming a practice in IT departments to offer a menu of courses and certifications for employees, which the department will in part reimburse employees for taking. It is a win-win situation, because employees can develop skills that can be taken to any job, but at a lower cost. The business can save money directly from the training companies too, by negotiating for discount group rates. Alternatively, online trainers offer subscription rates that vary according to the number of seats, etc.
The purchase-en-masse approach applies to key items like exam vouchers too. In a case where you have a team of designers who need specific skills, you can set them to a schedule so that you can buy all their vouchers in a bundle. As for assembling study groups and resources, Tittel explains that just a little extra support can trigger greater success. Things like setting up wikis or forums, encouraging employees to share their best resources, and providing access to practice tests could all be helpful.
And when your employees make good on that training, with their shiny new certifications up on the walls, celebrate their success. Consider buying them gift cards or acknowledging their accolades in the employee newsletter. It makes them feel good, and it makes the training appear more attractive to others watching.
About the final tip, Tittel says:
Beyond the various methods to stretch your training budget outlined here, you can also turn to your target audience to ask how it thinks you can maximize the return on training and certification. You may be surprised by the quality and quantity of resulting feedback. Most employees respond positively to on-the-job opportunities for career and professional development. They, too, understand that the likelihood of continuing support rests on the outcomes of their training and certification efforts. In the end, they know full well that, by helping the organization excel and improve, they too will benefit from improved job and pay prospects.
You can read Tittel’s original article here: http://www.cio.com/article/2839249/training/6-ways-to-maximize-your-it-training-budget.html