Training activities enhance knowledge base and also offer employees a reason not to leave an organization. Professional development remains a highly effective retention method.

Unfortunately, when organizations make budget cuts, training and education frequently suffer first. While intended to help control costs, less knowledgeable employees will not be able to maintain competitive advantage, and innovation suffers as well. Wise budgeting increases employee knowledge and retention, even when budgets are tight. Consider the following:

  1. Seek knowledge not degrees. An MBA provides general management knowledge, but not the specific knowledge required for immediate implementation. Topic focused training such as HOW TO LEAD BETTER MEETINGS, provides a quicker return on investment, and can be applied within days of completing the curriculum.
  2. Live classes may be better. Despite the tendency toward e learning, there is not substitute for quality interaction with expert instructors. If you hire from outside, you can call upon training as you need it, and not be required to support full-time staff around each and every business topic.

    Effective Training

  3. Provide feedback. Mentoring is known to have tremendous impact within organizations so ensure that employees get the feedback they need to take the training they need most. Strive for impact, powerful and immediate. Each and every person has opportunities to leverage strengths and shore-up weaknesses. They don’t always prioritize them correctly however. Depend on a mentor or an outsider (eg, coach) who can provide honest, neutral feedback.
  4. Make it easy. If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right. Consider hosting private classes that pull together teams and help develop esprit de corps (ie, teamwork) in addition to individual learning. Alternatively, invest in a fast-track employees future and permit them to travel for the training, reducing the headaches of office demands while in training.

Effective training provides physical, emotional, and intellectual relief. When budgets are tight and work demands per employee increase, do not forget the importance of your people, their needs, and the opportunity for win-win by providing effective training.

Facilitation Skills

The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember friends, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs)


  1. Excellent post and advice. In these austere times I look for ways to make savings without skimping on quality. I avoid public courses; bring the trainer to you and focus the on specific development needs. Also, make use of your own experts: coaching, mentoring, and knowledge café are beneficial.

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