There has never been a greater focus on reducing costs than right now. All the surveys show greater pressure on learning and development costs. The latest Bersin research in the US market revealed that training spend per learner fell between 2007 to 2009. In large organisations expenditure on online learning also fell for the first time ever and there will be continued pressure in 2010. ASTD’s recent survey showed that over 50% of respondents are being challenged to do more for less with their budgets. This survival manual looks at the practical steps that you can take to reduce your learning and development costs.
It seems clear to us that over the next few years doing more with less is one of the key challenges for learning and development professionals. So it’s time to take action.
In this manual we set out some practical steps and ideas for how you can deliver more value for less. We have grouped these into:
This section examines your current performance. How do your costs compare to the industry? How cost-effective are your learning blends? Does your delivery reflect the business priorities? How have you adopted more flexible technology based learning solutions?
The strategic changes we consider include identifying priorities, reducing or cutting training that doesn’t directly relate to business objectives and switching to more technology based learning and outsourcing.
Technology enabled opportunities
In this section we look at opportunities to reduce costs through the use of technology and online learning. We look at the ways you can reduce the costs of e-learning solutions through rapid e-learning, low cost tools, internal development, more mixed online delivery methods, effective procurement of e-learning and using open source learning platforms.
Face to face opportunities
In this section we look at opportunities for cutting costs if you’re doing face to face training. These include more effective procurement, improving fill rates, leveraging work experience and reducing administration costs.
It is not always a popular option, but an alternative way to address cost reduction and performance issues is to look at outsourcing.
More for less is about adding value, not just about cutting costs. The ideas in this paper are designed to enable learning and development to become a more flexible, technology enabled service which helps organisations improve business performance.
Learning and development leaders can promote dialogue about what the business needs to do to be more competitive and improve performance. There is the opportunity to take the lead to increase communication and development to ensure the organization is ready for the future.
So, get stuck in, and we hope you find some ideas.