Regular training and development opportunities not only strengthens your employees’ skills, but it also has been proven to boost their engagement and loyalty. Training is also an opportunity to enhance a sense of team unity, which can also improve your employees’ productivity and motivation. In other words, training is something that can have a positive impact on your bottom-line.

This article discusses ways in which you can train your employees on a limited budget.

Internal skill sharing

There may be a vast amount of skill and talent that already exists in your business. You can tap into this talent pool by asking your employees to hold mini-training sessions for their colleagues. This gives people the opportunity to share their expertise, skills and insight with others. In return, they will have the opportunity to learn new skills from their colleagues.

An external skill swap

Invite people from other organisations to come and hold a training session for your employees. Or, you can send your employees to spend time in another organisation to experience how they do things there.

The benefit of a skill swap is that both organisations gain new insights without spending any money.

Third-party training

In some instances, it may be necessary for you to send your employees to an external training centre. It can be quite costly to send your employees to these centres. Research shows that the average cost of training one employee is around $1208 (or £935).

To keep the training costs down see if you can negotiate a discount on the course in return for sending a large group. Or, see if it is possible to share the cost with another business who needs to undertake the same training for their employees.

Mentoring

Mentors are people who experienced in a particular field and who are willing to share their skills with others. Most mentors offer their time and expertise on a voluntary basis so your employees get practical advice and learn new approaches to solving problems for free.

As a business owner or manager, research shows that you can benefit greatly from mentoring as it results in improved productivity.

Self-learning

Increasing numbers of employees are asking for more training opportunities to take part in workplace self-learning. Self-learning allows the employee to learn at a pace and a time that works best for them.

Self-learning can be delivered in various formats. For instance, through special skill-sharing websites like Skillshare, online webinars, podcasts and even over Skype. This gives your employees the choice to choose a method that they feel the most comfortable with. If your employee is already asking about this then you should encourage them to find a suitable solution and then you can do a cost-benefit assessment based on the options they have found.

Leaders as trainers

Trainers are often seen as external people who have been brought into the organisation to deliver a training session. However, there is a new concept that is becoming popular which is called ‘leaders as trainers’. It essentially boils down to senior managers/leaders from within the business becoming drafted in to share their skills and nuggets of wisdom.

Companies that are doing this well are delivering these sessions in a fun and relaxed manner. By incorporating quizzes or activities into the training they are stopping it becoming mundane and stuffy. There is evidence to suggest that game based learning is more effective than traditional training as it stimulates the brain’s cognitive functions.

About the author

Emma Saldanha is a content creator here at Findmyshift. Emma has more than 10 years experience in content creation, marketing and PR. In between writing for Findmyshift, Emma writes marketing and branding advice for small to medium business on her blog, writtenbyems. Connect with Emma on Twitter and Facebook.