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Is Your Budget Well Spent?



Is Your Leadership Training and Development Budget Well Spent?

With budget constraints placed on most company's training and development budgets, it is crucial to ensure that your training budget is well spent.

How can you determine if the money spent for developmental training is resulting in maximum benefit to the company? There are some techniques that can be used to check the benefit gained.

A training needs assessment can identify what training should be provided to what leaders or employees.

This can be accomplished as part of the employee performance appraisal goal setting process or as a separate process. Whichever way the needs are assessed, you will want to determine specific skills that will be improved or new skills that will be added to the trainee's repertoire upon receiving the training.

These improvements ideally ought to be measurable to quantify the return on investment of training and development dollars.

One example of this type of measurable improvement would be a time management course that prompts leaders to establish the virtual staff meeting to be used when non-critical communications need to be undertaken.

This type of improvement can be measured in manhours not spent in a meeting; instead a short email that takes only minutes to read can be used.

You'll also know that training dollars are being well spent when leaders attend training and then return to flow down to other employees the techniques and methodology learned.  When leaders learn new techniques that result in new improvements, heightened efficiencies and/or increased productivity, you know that the training budget has been well-spent.

When new software programs, new vendor processes or new internal processes are being put in place, you can make the training dollars most effective by selecting a few leaders or employees to attend the formal training that will train the other users of the new processes or systems.

Because this type of training can be quite costly, if the people provided the training return and develop in-house process manuals for use by all employees, you can save thousands and thousands of training and development dollars.

If you find that employees are attending training but return without any improvements, new processes and innovations or other benefits apparent from the training, the employees may have begun to view training as "mental health time".

Yes, training and development should be fun and engaging, but if employees take the process lightly, your training dollars may as well have been be flushed down the drain.

Carefully select employees who will be approved to attend training based on their past history of using the benefits of developmental training to improve operations and organizational business practices.

Those employees who never return from training enthused about a new idea for an improvement should meet with you to discuss why this happens. If the training is effective for most of the attendees, the problem is not the training, but may well be employee's lack of desire or lack of attention.

Those training dollars can better be spent developing an employee who is receptive to training, derives obvious benefit from it and is, in turn, able to benefit the organization as a result of the new ideas he/she has learned.

Copyright © 2005 by Bill Roche.  All rights reserved.  All material on this site ( is protected by U.S. Federal Copyright law. It may not be reprinted in any form, or hosted on any Web site, without explicit permission.


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