Corporate Training & e-Learning Blog


Financial Squeeze on Training Departments

An article in ASTD's May 2008 T&D magazine outlined a recent study by Expertus and about training budgets and effectiveness. Over 3/4 of the respondents reported pressure to reduce costs and do more with the same budget. In addition, while there is more pressure for training departments to report return-on-investment, only 20% of respondents use ROI measures.
Leadership training and other soft skills training is difficult to track in terms of quality, so many companies are still using volumed-based instead of value-based metrics. While you can do ROI on sales and manufacturing training, who should be blamed if sales performance goes down, especially in our current economy? It doesn't seem at all fair to blame training.

A surprising finding in this study was the breakdown of dollars allocated in the training budget:

  • Delivery = 35%
  • Content development = 26%
  • Administration = 24%
  • Technology = 16%
What does this show? That a lot of time and resources (MONEY) is being spent on things that don't teach anybody anything! Here are a couple of suggestions offered in the T&D article:

Improve your company's training website:

  • Make it more effective and user-friendly to reduce telephone inquiries and increase class registrations and attendance/participation rates
  • Make better use of the training website to market training programs
Create training that is specific to the organization's needs:

  • Don't spend time and money creating and offering courses that no one wants or needs - and THEN determining their individual value based on how many people sign up (this is called the supply-oriented approach and is highly ineffective, inefficient, and costly!)
  • Don't simply roll out a cafeteria-style curriculum filled with general offerings


  • Great post! I'd also suggest that in times of reduced budgets you can look to user-generated content to create new training options. Short videos from your subject matter experts can deliver the information that your workplace experts know is needed but hasn't been supplied by the canned material that you purchased from a professional training company.

    By OpenID peterquirk, at 9:37 PM EDT  

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