Are you feeling wealthy Mr Chancellor?” was the question Emma Barnett kept asking Jeremy Hunt on the Radio 4 Today programme, as the topic of inflation was discussed.  Whilst inflation is going down, something that Mr Hunt was keen to press upon, feeling wealthy, or financially confident is something that most people and businesses are still uncertain about.

In the past, before the start of an organisation’s financial year, they will have planned and costed out their training development needs based on their workforce plan.  Senior leaders and HR departments often felt confident of what they could deliver or outsource, often commissioning work in advance knowing that the budget was pretty much set in stone.

But how true is that picture today?  How many businesses are being asked to reduce their training plans, or even put them on hold ‘for the time being’?  Training for many businesses is still taking place, but these tend to be the mandatory, role-related, or deliverables that can be undertaken by the internal team.  And where there are no or little L&D resources available, training reverts to peer support and managers taking on more of a hands-on approach.

Many businesses find themselves with their hands tied, and left having to come up with creative solutions around training with little or no budget.  So, what happens if training just stops?  What other ways do you ensure that learning continues?  How do you keep your employees motivated, when training is often seen as an incentive?

In conversations with businesses, many are worried that without regular training they are reducing their competitive edge.  The CIPD regularly reports that 90% of businesses believe that training and development supports innovation and giving them a competitive edge.  There is also fear that without some form of training, they are at risk of having less engaged employees who may seek out better employment opportunities. Something again which the CIPD confirms is a real possibility.

What used to be called ‘soft skills’ which now many of us call ‘power skills’ (communication, leadership, resilience, teamwork skills etc.), are fundamental to the personal and professional growth of not only the individual, but the organisation as well.

At times like this, no-one feels wealthy.  Yet, what I am hearing is that businesses are finding ways to overcome an ever-shrinking training budget.  Training doesn’t have to stop, it simply needs to start differently. Some businesses are scanning for free training opportunities from coaches in training, or blagging free seats on a larger organisation’s training programme.  Peers are sharing ‘must see’ videos or podcasts, or even holding lunch and learn informal sessions.

For many organisations, the solution may be for bitesize rather than a full course meal training option.  How we’ve been able to respond to that is by offering Team Coaching, Action Learning or Coaching Circles instead of individual coaching. Instead of running training programmes, we’ve collaborated with the internal team to bring our creative training experience and external expertise to write train-the-trainer sessions.  Short, sharp 60-to-90-minute training online can resolve the issue of time, inclusivity, scalability and cost-effectiveness.   Many of our training programmes today include access to our online learning platform, providing more training content and development flexibly.

Don’t let your training wealth diminish, chat to us to find out how we can help support you to be more creative with what you do have.  Helping you find the right solutions for you and your teams.