Home » Tight margins and increased operating costs shouldn’t mean leaner training budgets: 

Tight margins and increased operating costs shouldn’t mean leaner training budgets: 

A learning and development expert explains where and how eLearning solutions can quickly and efficiently fill the gaps and still provide more, if not better-quality staff training.

by Tia

In an era of tighter margins and rising operating costs, training for business purposes can be challenging.

When firms, particularly those falling into the small- to medium-sized category, are grappling with cashflow, it is very often staff training that falls by the wayside.

“Organisations and SMMES are affected by training budgets more because they operate on limited budgets,” says Michael Hanly, MD of South African learning solutions company New Leaf Technologies.

Often companies will try to “duct-tape” over the problem, but these training solutions seldom work as there is no way to measure return on investment or whether a team’s performance is improving.

Another issue is the “Sunk Cost” phenomenon, where a business’s decisionmakers will continue to invest time, money and resources into ineffectual training simply because substantial investment has been made already.

This thinking can lead to suboptimal decisions that can hinder training initiatives, Hanly says.

“A lot of legacy-based systems are exacerbated by the Sunk Cost fallacy. You can get a lot more impact out of your training spend if you do it wisely.”

What companies need to realise, he adds, is that there are better and more effective ways to achieve similar and even more impactful results.

One of these ways is to properly scrutinise existing classroom-based learning, which carries a range of different costs. Venue rental, accommodation, travel and catering do not come cheaply.

Furthermore, Hanly says, traditional learning methods often lack the flexibility modern employees require.

It is why eLearning has taken off in the way it has.

Not only does it offer scalability in terms of cost-saving, but it eliminates the need for physical materials. Its flexible nature also means that trainees can learn in their own time without having to sacrifice workplace productivity.

“It is a universal truth that no one likes to study but people love to learn. With eLearning, you can foster and nurture a digital garden of knowledge and make it accessible in the flow of work. This will impact budgets in a positive, not negative light,” Hanly says.

“eLearning also offers a significant amount of tracking from a training improvement perspective. Analytics data can help you increase engagement and increase the correlation to performance metrics. And, of course, these solutions can be tailored to fit a business’s specific financial services.”

The bottom line is that companies do not have to sacrifice on quality when it comes to training employees.

The key to making systems work is to look at the major underlying issues and “diagnose before prescribing solutions”.

“Even as a learning solutions provider, New Leaf needs to find a flexible learning solution that works with a company’s budget size. If that means reducing our own costs to help them reduce theirs, then this is something that we have to do,” Hanly says.

It is the reason that providers such as his own offer multiple solutions, such as different learning platforms, content authoring tools, software design and integration and even an AI-powered learning companion.

“In essence, we have to be like a doctor for eLearning, prescribing effort-for-purpose solutions that are in line with our clients’ budgets.”

With South Africa’s critical need for skilled workers, companies need to do whatever it takes to offer quality learning programmes that can be accessed digitally.

Such systems will not break the bank nor impact on the effectiveness of training. It is simply a question of intelligent and financially savvy implementation.

Related Articles

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!