How to train your team on a budget

Investing in your team’s development has undeniable benefits. Consider these stats:

  • Businesses that offer comprehensive training programmes report over 200% higher income per employee and have a 24% higher profit margin than companies that don’t.
  • 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers.
  • 42% of employees say learning and development is the most important benefit when deciding where to work.

When presented with an opportunity to learn new skills that will help us reach our potential, few of us would pass it up. We’re all worried about the impact technology will have on our careers in future, so it’s no wonder that most people place a lot of value on growth opportunities when applying for – and staying in – jobs.

This is why it’s crucial that businesses put people development at the core of their growth strategies. Training not only contributes to happier customers and more productive, loyal teams; for some businesses, it’s required by law.

Yet, when it comes to training, businesses have two main concerns:

  1. Budget
  2. Fear that their newly upskilled employees will leave

We’ll get into why training and team development doesn’t have to be a massive expense in a moment. But first, answer this question:

Would you rather have bored, unmotivated, and apathetic people on your team (the quickest route to redundancy), or would you risk losing engaged and productive people who feel valued because you invested in their development? Side note: This is unlikely – see the second statistic above.

Now, back to how you can train your people on a budget. Here are a few ideas:

  • Enrol them in online courses. There are hundreds of free online business classes presented by lecturers from reputable institutions like Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, Oxford University, MIT, and New York University. Let your team spend a portion of their days or weeks learning a new skill that can contribute to meeting their personal KPIs and the business’s long-term goals.
  • Tap into your in-house expertise. You no doubt have subject matter experts within your own four walls who can share their knowledge and learnings with junior team members. Work with your HR department to structure an internal mentorship programme.
  • Open a library. Set reading KPIs – like one book every three months – and reward your team for achieving them. Fill your library with books on a range of topics, including leadership, innovative thinking, productivity, time hacks, and creativity. See this article for tips on setting up your library.
  • Access government benefits. When you register with your industry’s Sector Education and Training Authority, you may qualify for training grants and can claim points towards your Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment scorecard.

Growth is impossible unless you push your limits, learn new things, and move out of your comfort zone. Encourage your team to adopt a mindset of lifelong learning because when they future-proof themselves, they future-proof your business.