Budgets are a reality, but so is the need to bring your team members up to speed. It’s no longer an option to ignore an employee’s lack of skill as that creates buyers or customers who will go elsewhere to find their needs fulfilled. If you’re caught between that rock and a hard place of needing more skills, but have a limited budget, here are five ways to find, create, and implement cheap training for your team.
Use In House Team Members
There is no one closer to the challenges you face than those in your own company. They get the culture, the clients, and the climate of those you lead and what they need. And while they may at times have less crediblity than an outside training firm, a compromise is to equip an in house trainer with a curriculum that meets your needs and that they can use to lead a class.
Base it on a Book
We’ve heard of several organizations using books on which to base training. Whether it’s FISH, moving CHEESE, 212 Degrees, Make Difficult People Disappear, or Lencioni’s classics, there are a plethora of books with good information that just need a leader to walk employees through the concepts. Consider a book club, discussion of a book in meetings, or having team members teach the book to their peers.
Use a Multi-Staged Approach
If your budget spans the calendar year and there are times when you know revenue is strong, consider staging training during those times. A class per quarter, on a pay as you go basis, is better than no classes at all and most training firms will provide a package rate for multiple courses scheduled over a period of time.
Give Star Performers a Shot
Those who are doing what you want in a way that you would say is “over-achieving” may be able to teach their lessons, skills, and best practices. Give them the guidance and be sure they can articulate what it is they do exactly that makes them great, before you turn them loose, but with a little structure, they may be great instructors.
Get More Leaders Involved
Leaders have risen to a position of power, influence, and authority for a reason and while their list of tasks may be long, there is a chance to truly impact your future leaders by engaging the current leadership team in training. Particularly if they’ve been where the others are and have earned the team’s respect, this method can have high results in retention of the training they provide.
Cautious times can inspire creativity and these five opportunities to train without draining the budget can have a positive impact. The key is not to forego team development and employee training simply because the budget is below what you think you might need. Those who continue to develop employees during the quiet times are those who rise rapidly when times get better. Be prepared to rise by continuing the development. As the saying goes: “Being lucky is when preparation meets timing”. Will you and the team you lead be prepared when the time comes?