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How to Make the Most of Your Training Budget

Training is so important; people are any organisation’s most valuable asset. It’s likely that you’ll need a range of different training to meet the needs of your people and reach your organisation’s objectives.

Here at Nimble, we’re proud to say that our customers’ success with elearning is our top priority. We have the privilege of hearing how so many different people in organisations of different sizes have found elearning to be of help to them, and we wanted to share some of our experience.

While every organisation is unique with different training needs, there are likely some benefits to be had for most workplaces by moving towards elearning – helping you to get the most impact out of your budget, whatever it is.

Elearning saves time and money

It can be expensive to look after your teams:

UK Government research shows that organisations spend on average around £1,530 a year per employee on training costs. – Employer Skills Survey

But benefits include increased productivity, higher performance, and staff who feel valued and want to stay with the organisation. This all means you want to be able to offer the best training and development possible. Making a change from 100% face-to-face training towards elearning can save you both time and money!

Time is saved across the organisation:

  • Your subject matter expert who usually leads the training sessions can create an elearning course once that can be used time and again
  • Administrators can enrol new learners with the click of a button; no need to find a diary slot where everyone is available to attend (in smaller organisations this is often the same person as above!)
  • Learners can access the training around their daily tasks, often breaking their learning up into bite-size chunks to allow reflection between modules if needed. Managers still need to ensure that the time for staff training is made available, but if it can happen on demand that’s easier to find the time
  • If you choose Nimble as your elearning provider, the super-simple products are quick to learn, so you can be up and running in no time

While saving staff time naturally gives a money-saving, there are other ways that elearning can help your organisation’s budget stretch to cover as much as possible. There’s no need to book room hire or pay for travel costs to attend in person. In most cases elearning can be created and delivered using the office equipment, such as laptops and tablets, that your teams already have access to.

Reassuringly, there’s evidence to suggest that a well-designed, quality elearning experience will provide just as much opportunity for effective learning as an equivalent classroom session would (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2021). So if elearning is an effective and affordable tool, how can you use it to make the most of your training budget?

What can be delivered entirely through elearning? 

Elearning is a great tool, and with a bit of thought it can be used in the right time and right place to train staff effectively, at a lower cost than in-person programmes.

Look across all the training you provide to different individuals and teams through the year, and find the ‘easy wins’: learning that can take place online, with no detriment to quality.

Some likely examples where you could deliver the training digitally include:

  • Onboarding – when new starters join your organisation, can any of their ‘welcome pack’ information be delivered through elearning?
  • Compliance topics – depending on your organisation, there’s a good chance that your teams will have some compliance training you’re legally required to provide, such as for health and safety or on data protection. This is often successfully delivered using elearning for ease.
  • Covering staff FAQs – do your HR or managers find they are constantly repeating themselves giving answers for a common question or taking people through a sticky process in your work? Use learning in the flow of work and create a series of ‘help yourself’ materials for your learners to access on demand.
  • Bringing everyone up to speed – need a go-to place where everyone knows to look for details on a new product launch, or a big project? While a whole-staff presentation is a helpful kick-off, having all the essential information gathered in one place to learn details from, and look back on whenever needed, can be really helpful.

While being an affordable choice, elearning can still deliver the results we want – and in fact, there are plenty of learners who enjoy being able to go through the course materials at their own pace. With the right tool, it can be easy to use some key principles to make your elearning more likely to be successful:

  • Engaging – mix use of interactive elements, images, and real-life examples to keep learners motivated
  • Relevant – use case studies and visuals from your own organisation make the learning exactly fit with what will be most relevant to the learners’ role
  • Effortless – elearning can easily fit into daily life at work; mobile-friendly so can be viewed on any device, access on demand, and move through content at your own speed

Consider a blended learning approach

For some things though, the human element is really valuable and can make a big impact. That’s where elearning gives us the freedom to be really intentional during our budget planning, directing that spend to where it’ll have the most impact.

Here’s a simple way to think about it. Imagine a classroom training session:

  • If it’s the type of session where there’s an existing slideshow which is always the same, and the trainer mostly sticks to a script imparting key information, it’s likely this will translate well into elearning
  • If there’s lots of practical activity, conversations, and sharing of ideas, then this might be where elearning ‘modules’ are used to supplement key face to face sessions

Doing this – using a mix of delivery formats during the overall training course – is known as blended learning.

For some topics, you’ll want to have a face-to-face practical session but deliver the bulk of the training via elearning. For others, the balance will be tipped in favour of more in-person time. These might include:

Although these people-focused topics lend themselves to face-to-face learning, there are certainly ways to use elearning to maximise impact. You might use it to introduce a concept ahead of a discussion session, or to provide the structure for some reflective practice. Elearning shouldn’t be just reading on a screen – making use of video resources that can be watched again and again, and open text interactions to encourage learners to self-reflect and make personalised notes, can be a skilled way of making the most of the elearning you have access to.

Even as an elearning provider, Nimble knows that there are times where face-to-face learning is the best choice. Being intentional about that choice allows you to put your money where it’ll make the biggest difference. By taking full advantage of the power of online learning, you could save time and money – and free up those resources to deliver professional development that has a big impact.