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How Do I Spend My External Training Budget?

Many organizations invest a large sum of money into their training budgets – and why shouldn’t they? Studies have shown over and over again that investing in training for your organization will lead to positive results, including an increase in customer and employee retention, growth in sales and a stronger overall bottom line.

The problem is no longer convincing you that you need a training budget, but helping guide you on how to use it. Due to the constantly changing needs that businesses are facing, not to mention the rapid development of technology, it is getting increasingly difficult to know exactly how your training budget should be spent. We've compiled some strategies on how you should prioritize your training budget to make sure your company is getting the most out of their training investments. 

Job-Specific Technical Training

An organization’s training needs vary widely depending on their industry and how they operate. According to findcourses.com's 2019 training report, while soft skills training like such as leadership remain priorities for many organizations, other more harder skills like sales training, IT courses and audit training also ranked as high training priorities for many companies. The success of a company depends solely on the productivity and performance of its workforce.

For this reason, the first item that your training budget should be allocated towards is training your employees. This includes new employees as well as existing and long-term employees. When new hires are provided with individual training right off the bat, they will understand their position faster, feel more valued and be more likely to succeed. 

Many companies often disregard the professional development of their long term employees which results in dissatisfaction and loss of valuable talent. Many employees have claimed that they often do not receive as much professional development, such as mentoring, coaching and training as they would like.

The attention that job-specific technical training places on an employee's position should not be underestimated. Keeping your employees engaged through regular training will make them feel more important, help them experience more job satisfaction and as a result be more competent and productive in their role.

Compliance Training

Your company is a machine and in order for the machine to operate correctly and effectively, everyone needs to know how it works. Regulatory compliance and company compliance training is often overlooked in many organizations and is not treated as a priority when distributing money from a training budget. However, when it comes to legal responsibility and efficient business operations, compliance training ranked as one of the most important training topics. 

In order to have a healthy and productive work environment, employees need to be aware of the governmental and company wide laws, regulations and policies. Many organizations rely strictly on a read-and-agree form for their compliance training - a bad idea when it comes to being prepared for a compliance audit.

According to Training Magazine, out of 207 surveyed companies, less than 48% said that they believe they are ready for a compliance audit. Since compliance training is both an operational and legal requirement, it is not something that should be taken lightly.

Hiring an external provider to deliver compliance training will not only call employees attention to its importance and prepare your business for a compliance audit, but it will also clarify how the organization operates, reduce ambiguity and uncertainty around work obligations, and enhance productivity. 

Leadership Training

A company's success is largely dependent on the leadership driving it forward. Leaders have a variety of responsibilities including, but not limited to, providing direction, handling problems, implementing changes, guiding and motivating employees and more. Since leaders are so important to the success of an organization, ensuring that they are well equipped for the job is essential. 

Contrary to popular belief, leadership skills can be learnt and developed. Many leaders are often blind to the mistakes that they make on a daily basis and do not understand how their actions may be hurting their employees and overall business. Leadership training can teach individuals in leadership roles the skills to inspire employees, make better decisions and be more effective in every aspect of their position. 

According to eLearning Industry, leadership training can offer an assortment of benefits to an organization. Statistics show that 75% of people that quit their jobs do so because of ineffective leadership. Having a qualified leaders increases employee retention, strengthens morale, improves productivity and has a series of other long-term benefits. Part of your training budget should always go toward developing leaders in your workplace to ensure that there is a well-trained and efficient guiding hand throughout the daily challenges all businesses face. 

Implementing Technologies

It is no secret that we live in a technologically advanced world. The days of writing in your calendars, having paper presentations and land line phones are long behind us. Now it seems that there is technology for everything and as soon as you learn how to use it, along comes the next big advancement.

Due to the technological age that businesses now operate in, the next item that your training budget should be spent on is implementing and learning the latest technologies for your industry. In order to keep up with competitors you need to stay relevant in today’s technical age and not fall behind. This means having your finance team use the latest accounting software and the best digital security to protect your company’s data drives.

According to The Marketing Insider Group, digitally advanced companies have improved their productivity and profit margins by 2 or 3 times the average rate of their competitors in the past 20 years. Additional research has also shown that of 150 large companies, many are finding it hard to stay current with digitization. The companies that are unable to keep-up with the technological growth are falling behind, while the ones keeping up are reaping the benefits; ability to deliver products and services faster and experience higher profit margins. In order to survive and profit, businesses need to adapt.  

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Last updated: 19 Mar 2021

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