Monday, April 21, 2008

'Recession-proof' employee training tips

With the big “r” word in the headlines everyday, along with job layoffs and a struggling stock market, it’s almost impossible for any company not to feel the crunch.

So, what does an economic recession have to do with employee training and development? Everything, according to Chris Young at the Rainmaker group.

Why? During economic hard times nervous executives start cutting unnecessary company spending. Unfortunately, employee training programs can be the first to hit the chopping block.

Though keeping an employee is much cheaper than finding a new one, it isn’t always clear how much the company benefits (in dollars) from employee training and development programs.

What’s the best way to keep up your training programs while the company is tightening it’s belt? Young offers five tips to tackle the issue:

1. Employee training is an investment. Young uses the stock market as an example: by putting money in when stocks are down, you’ll be on top when the market turns around. Keeping funds for training now will put you ahead of your competitors when the economy comes back around.

2. Be sure your training efforts are targeted and necessary. Focus training programs on employee weaknesses. Don’t waste you or your employee’s time on unnecessary training.

3. Measure results. With hard numbers in front of them, executives may find it harder to cut training costs.

4. Find quality training vendors. If you use outside training vendors often, be sure you’re getting your money’s worth in the form of measurable results.

5. Keep training flexible and unique to the company’s needs. Most “one size fits all” training programs don’t work as well as those that are tailored to your situation.

Whether the economy is facing hard times or not, company spending should be focused on results. Creating measurable results can help keep employee training and development in the budget no matter what NASDAQ looks like.

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