Six out of ten learning & development managers say that their training budget is one of the first to be cut when times are hard, according to a survey by KnowledgePool, the managed learning company.
104 L&D managers were asked about their perception of training within their organisation, 61% claim that cost cutting exercises during times of financial constraint hit the training budget hard and fast. However the solution to this, may well lie in their own hands; 79% agreed that the sector needed to improve the way training was evaluated, and that ROI in training could be improved.
Kevin Lovell, Learning Consultancy Director at KnowledgePool (www.knowledgepool.com ) agrees. "Drastic L&D cuts are not the answer in these tough times," he explains. "Training that is tightly aligned to business goals is much more important. It ensures that businesses are in good shape to weather current storms and take advantage of the recovery when it comes. One of the great challenges for L&D is how to take a business-oriented view of learning."
The problem, according to Lovell, is that it is much easier to see training as a cost rather than an investment; and cutting costs by improving efficiency or reducing waste is uncomfortable but defensible in the current climate.
However, the way savings are made often points to an underlying problem. "We know a great deal about what learning costs, but very little about its value to an organisation. Our approach to the evaluation of learning involves post-training analysis which is time consuming, costly and by the time you get the result, it's too late".
KnowledgePool's Lovell suggests a more pro-active approach to assessing ROI.
"Our suggestion is that, rather than trying to assess the business benefit after the training, why not think about the likely business benefit before it takes place?
"Our experience of analysing learning outcomes after the event shows that most outcomes (good and bad) are not unexpected and could have been anticipated at the outset."
Managed learning companies like KnowledgePool help L&D managers educate the business on training that delivers results. In today's tough economic climate it is even more important to focus training budget correctly and contribute to business growth through improving skills.
With over 40 years’ experience in the training industry, KnowledgePool is Britain’s biggest buyer of learning and development. Its managed learning service, which combines market-leading capabilities in learning, procurement and customer service, can reduce a client’s total cost of learning by up to 30%.Read more...