5 Creative and Smart Ways to Spend Your Training Budget Surplus in Q4
Posted: October 7, 2019
Sometimes the stars align, and it just works out right: You have more money than time! The year is nearing its end, and you know you have to spend any leftover training budget. What’s a (suddenly) rich corporate training department to do?
If you find yourself with a year-end budget surplus, spending wisely means you can make a major impact on next year — and maybe even the year after. Employee training, as we all know, is an ever-changing, ongoing endeavor; a little extra cash can go a long way toward future-proofing your department. To lend a hand, we’ve put together five tips (and one bonus tip) that can make you the envy of your trainer friends.
Before making any budgeting decisions, it’s important to keep a few factors in mind:
- What’s happening next year in your company? What can you see coming down the road?
- What didn’t happen this year that might be a concern in the future?
- What new technologies are on the horizon in training?
Be sure you’re not spending money you’ll desperately need for something you should/could have anticipated!
Tip #1: Build Efficiencies
Chances are, you don’t have all the tools to create training as efficiently as you’d like. Take a look at development platforms that you aren’t currently using. Haven’t taken the plunge to invest in Adobe Captivate? Now may be the time. Training manual software like StepShot can also save valuable time documenting processes. And don’t forget that you and your staff will need training on the new tools!
Tip #2: Promote Yourself
Is your department as visible as it could be in your company? Does every employee know where to go to find the training they need? Investing in online tools and web development to drive traffic to your programs and department can pay off big time when you can show increased numbers to management.
Tip #3: Revitalize Old Content
Every training department has some dusty old programs that could gain new life with a few simple updates. The content is there — use it! It may even be worth your time to bring in Extra Hands You Don’t Have to Hold® to augment your team. Cue Innovators on Demand®, our just-in-time training experts!
Having an outside eye on old content can really help you develop new approaches. Take a listen to this webinar about revamping old content for some great ideas. And don’t forget: Adobe Flash goes the way of the dinosaur in 2021! Are you ready?
Tip #4: Invest in New Technology
Like it or not, technology has become the tail that wags the dog in corporate training. These days, if you’re not ahead, you’re behind! So what are you dying to try? Virtual reality? Artificial intelligence? These cutting-edge technologies aren’t as expensive as you think! Can they work for you?
Tip #5: Purchase Evergreen Content
For some elements of training, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Some content will always be valuable, and there’s a wealth of existing content out there that can shore up your library and add a lot of value. Do you have all the soft-skills training you need? Are you up to date on working with Millennials and the up-and-coming Generation Z? How about technical training on evergreen tools like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint? Training on everyday tools reaches everyone in your company — and they’ll love you for it.
Bonus Tip: Train Yourself!
Finally, don’t leave yourself out of the training budget bonanza! Be sure you’re up to date on the latest trends and technology. Take some courses in adult education to keep yourself fresh and be sure you’re informed on the most recent L&D theories. Search for certifications for yourself and your team that will add gravitas to your department.
Wow! We spent a lot of money, didn’t we? That was fun! A surplus budget can have a significant impact on your department and your team’s personal growth. As Wilma Flintstone once said: “CHARGE…it!”
About the Author
Allan Dodson is so much more than a writer and instructional designer. He’s helped develop strategy in Fortune 500 boardrooms, and he’s taught acting skills to 4th graders. He’s developed training programs for everything from hair highlighting to pest control to DSL lines, and he’s made presentations to C-level execs, teachers (tough crowd!) and all workforce levels. In short, he has the experience, versatility, creativity, and energy to move projects large and small, and he’s ready for any challenge.