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Last updated: 15.04.14

Maximising your training budget

April is the start of the financial new year for most companies and that means budget time for the year ahead. While allocating spend for departments and companies as a whole, it is important to consider training budgets too. These will often be allocated on a per head basis, but utilising your budget across the department, or a sub-group of individuals can help the effectiveness of this spending go further.

The key, however you wish to spread your training budget, is to spend the appropriate amount of time planning ahead. While it is not always possible to have an accurate gauge of the long-term changes that are likely to beset your industry, for most a fairly accurate picture of how things are expected to change over the next 12 months should be fairly attainable. 

In this way, you can successfully identify the key areas where training will be most effectively deployed among staff - this is a process that you should consider making two-way. Rather than telling individuals what they should know, it can be much more effective to also encourage self-appraisals and tie this in with training plans - so that you're addressing areas where they feel the weakest.

By sharing training requirements across staff and planning ahead, you can save substantial amounts of money as opposed to purchasing training on an ad-hoc, ongoing basis. It is also possible to make your training spend go much further by introducing online resources and modules. Not only does this safe significantly on the costs associated with physical, on-site training, it can allow for much higher levels of productivity among staff.

This is because these modules and courses can be fit around workloads in a much more flexible manner, allowing for training to fill the gaps between other tasks. The benefits of this are two-fold: firstly, large blocks of time do not need to be set aside for training and, secondly, smaller pockets of time that tend to go to waste can be put to good use.