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The Ultimate Guide to Affordable Corporate Technical Training for Workplace Success

Training can be expensive, including corporate technical training. But it doesn’t have to be. This post covers some of the best and most affordable methods for training employees on technical topics.

There are three great ways to manage affordable corporate technical training to enable employees to do their best work. Training based on generations is bogus. We know this because survey after survey says that even the youngest generation wants more technical training.

As businesses evolve at an unprecedented pace, it’s increasingly crucial for organizations to equip their employees with the necessary technical skills to stay competitive. Formal training can be expensive, so affordable yet effective is the best approach.

Just be realistic that these methods won’t completely replace formal training. The goal is to reduce the need for formal training to save money.

Excessive costs associated with formal training methods often pose a significant barrier for some companies, especially those operating on tight budgets. While formal training can’t be eliminated, affordable corporate technical training can help reduce costs a lot.

Formal training can get expensive but less formal strategies can work tougher to decrease the cost.

Imagine your employees are empowered with the skills they need to thrive in today’s digital age and through digital transformation without compromising your budget.

Sound too good to be true?

It’s not. Your options may be limited sometimes, and you may have to make do with less, but there are options. Through innovative approaches such as performance support, employee-generated content, and social learning, affordable corporate technical training is still possible on a shoestring budget.

In this guide, we’ll explore the most cost-effective and efficient methods of corporate technical training, giving you the tools and insights to make informed decisions for your organization.

Whether you’re a small startup or a multinational corporation, discovering the secrets of affordable corporate technical training will help you get more for less. But first, why the heck is corporate technical even needed? Don’t you open up the application and know how to use it? Of course not.

The Importance of Corporate Technical Training

Before diving into the world of affordable corporate technical training, let’s dig into why corporate technical training holds such significance in today’s business landscape. The pace of technological innovation will only speed up. That’s why organizations must ensure their employees have the necessary technical skills to successfully navigate the changing digital landscape.

Investing in corporate technical training doesn’t just enhance the knowledge and capabilities of your workforce. It also boosts overall productivity and efficiency. When employees are well-versed in the latest technologies and tools, they can perform more effectively, resulting in improved outcomes for your organization.

You also can’t underestimate that providing technical training opportunities demonstrates your commitment to employee development and growth. That means a positive work environment where individuals feel valued and motivated to contribute their best efforts.

Employees demand that companies help shoulder the weight of professional development.

Every leader should be striving to create a workplace where employees feel valued. It’s also nice because when employees are adequately trained, they’re less likely to quit.

Corporate technical training is crucial for organizations looking to stay competitive in today’s digital age. Just like employees need to learn technical skills, employers must provide them. That’s especially true for specific organization knowledge, such as a company-specific application.

By investing in developing your employees’ technical skills, you enhance their capabilities and drive overall organizational success.

Why Formal Training Doesn’t Always Cut It

Formal training methods have long been the go-to corporate learning and development approach. They’re pretty engrained in nearly all societies. This is evident even in generative AI when you ask what training looks like.

What corporate learning looks like according to generative AI.

Flip charts and big events with a bunch of people. You just have to get past the creepiness of people in gen AI and otherwise bizarre imagery. If it doesn’t cut it in gen AI, it likely doesn’t cut it in today’s rapidly changing workplace.

Even virtual instructor-led training (vILT) doesn’t work well because corporate technical training is typically hands-on and changes too often. Those are two reasons we don’t mess with vILT for technical training.

One primary challenge is the high cost associated with formal training programs. From needing trainers to renting out dedicated training facilities or making everyone step away from their work, expenses can quickly add up.

This poses a significant barrier for organizations operating on tight budgets or those looking for cost-effective alternatives. While eLearning is an amazing alternative and more affordable than other formal training methods, it’s still a formal method and can get expensive.

Formal training is necessary in some circumstances but there are better ways for the majority of employee learning.

Another challenge lies in the time-consuming nature of formal training methods. The training also typically happens away from the work rather than part of it.

All of this leads to disruptions in daily operations.

Formal training methods often lack flexibility and scalability. As technology evolves, so do the skills required in the workplace. Formal programs may struggle to keep up with these rapid changes, resulting in outdated training content that fails to address current industry needs.

Given these challenges, it’s clear that organizations need to explore alternative approaches to corporate technical training that are cost-effective, adaptable, and engaging.

That brings us to the three most affordable types of corporate technical training.

The Most Affordable Types of Corporate Technical Training

There are three main types of affordable corporate technical training. They’re not all controlled by learning and development but can all be curated by L&D.

Performance support is generally a bit more formal, but it’s more affordable than courses, classes, webinars, and other large-scale types of training. However, the real power of the future of learning lies in employee-generated content and social learning on an enterprise social networking (ESN).
Let’s take a look at each of these three types of affordable corporate technical training.

Boost Performance with Performance Support

One of the most effective and affordable methods of corporate technical training is performance support. Unlike formal training programs focusing on upfront knowledge transfer, performance support provides employees with on-demand resources and tools to assist them in their daily tasks.

The problem is that many organizations and L&D departments forget performance support because they prefer other methods. Imagine that, forgetting the most powerful form of training because it’s not a shiny new tool.

Performance support can take various forms, such as job aids, online tutorials, or a simple one-page quick reference guide. These resources are easily accessible and provide just-in-time assistance when employees encounter challenges or need clarification on specific tasks or processes.

Performance support is one of the single best types of training.

The beauty of performance support lies in its ability to deliver targeted information precisely when needed. While not an affordable form of performance support, contextual help is also great at this. It just relies on the value it brings to be greater than the price.

Relying primarily on performance support eliminates the need for extensive upfront training that may not immediately apply to employees’ daily work. That means they likely forget much of what they learned before they can even use it. They also come away with train brain if they get too much information.

By leveraging performance support as part of your corporate technical training strategy, you can significantly reduce costs associated with formal methods while providing your employees with valuable resources that enhance their productivity and efficiency.

Encourage More Employee-Generated Content

Another affordable and practical approach to corporate technical training is harnessing the power of employee-generated content. Who better understands the challenges and intricacies of a particular job than those who perform it daily?

Encouraging employees to create and share their knowledge through content creation platforms, such as wikis or internal blogs, can be a game-changer for your organization. Imagine providing ongoing support and sharing best-demonstrated practices (BDPs) on your company’s enterprise social network.

Your organization’s enterprise social network can enhance corporate IT training. Not only does this foster a culture of collaboration and knowledge sharing, but it also allows employees to take ownership of their learning and development.

Employee-generated content is the holy grail of corporate technical training with the right strategy.

Employee-generated content provides a unique perspective that formal training programs may lack. It offers real-world examples, practical tips, and insights that likely resonate with employees on a deeper level.

The best part? It promotes continuous learning as employees can regularly contribute new content or update existing resources based on their evolving experiences. That is also part of the negatives, though. Employees likely won’t update content, monitor content, or the content could potentially be completely inaccurate.

Besides the negatives, by tapping into the collective wisdom of your workforce through employee-generated content, you can create a cost-effective training ecosystem that is relevant, engaging, and tailored to your organization’s specific needs.

Socialize Social Learning

This one plays nicely with employee-generated content. Social learning is another powerful tool. It leverages the innate human desire to learn from others and fosters collaboration and knowledge exchange within your organization.

Through an enterprise social network (ESN), employees can form communities of practice, connect with others, or share content in groups relating to company applications. It’s also nice because employees can connect with the experts in a given system.

Microsoft Viva Engage, an enterprise social network that can be used for affordable corporate technical training.

They can share insights, ask questions, and engage in discussions that deepen their understanding of technical concepts or challenges they may encounter in their roles.

Valuable learning occurs through informal conversations with colleagues or observing others’ work practices. That’s true even if an organization has a lot of formal training available.

By embracing social learning as part of your corporate technical training strategy, you create an environment where knowledge flows freely across departments and hierarchical boundaries. This enhances the effectiveness of your training programs and cultivates a culture of continuous learning and innovation within your organization.

Evaluating the Cost-Effectiveness of These Approaches

Cost-effectiveness is a critical factor to consider when conducting corporate technical training. While formal methods may come with high price tags, alternative approaches such as performance support, employee-generated content, and social learning offer more affordable options.

It’s just important to weigh the benefits against the drawbacks. Performance support is typically more organized, which means more accurate and managed. Employee-generated content and social learning are a bit more like the wild west. Content isn’t managed, monitored as well, reviewed, or updated regularly.

Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of different training approaches based on your organization’s specific needs and resources is essential. Consider upfront costs, ongoing maintenance expenses, scalability, and the potential return on investment.

Performance support, employee-generated content, and social learning are affordable, but they have to be properly evaluated and approached properly

For example, performance support may require an initial investment in developing job aids or online tutorials. Still, it can yield long-term cost savings by reducing the need for extensive training sessions.

Employee-generated content relies on employees’ willingness to contribute their knowledge voluntarily and may require minimal financial investment beyond providing content creation platforms. Employees also aren’t likely to update what they’ve created once it’s out there.

Social learning platforms or communities of practice can be implemented using existing internal communication tools or affordable third-party solutions. These platforms foster collaboration and knowledge sharing relatively cheaply compared to formal training programs.

By carefully evaluating the cost-effectiveness of different training approaches, you can make informed decisions that align with your organization’s budgetary constraints while maximizing the impact of your corporate technical training initiatives.

Implementing Affordable Corporate Technical Training

Now that you know three of the most affordable corporate technical training methods, it’s time to implement them within your organization. Implementing these strategies requires careful planning and consideration of your unique organizational context.

Start by assessing your current training programs and identifying areas where performance support could take over effectively. It’s also important to understand how employees feel about these methods.

Are they okay with forgoing eLearning or classroom sessions? If you’re not sure, ask! Survey employees to understand their needs better.

There will always be some change management required. A culture that encourages employee-generated content is needed. The right tools and platforms for content creation and sharing must be available.

Fostering an environment where employees feel empowered to contribute their knowledge and expertise is also essential. Recognition of their efforts is also nice, and providing incentives to do so is even better.

Affordable corporate technical training should be implemented with a thorough strategy rather than haphazardly applied.

Embrace social learning by establishing platforms or communities where employees can connect, collaborate, and learn from one another. Encourage participation and facilitate discussions around technical topics or challenges.

A community around an application could be created for support, but you must get the word out about it. Employees won’t magically find a new community on your ESN. That means an email might be necessary.

Always remember that implementing affordable corporate technical training is an ongoing process that requires continuous evaluation and improvement. Regularly assess your training initiatives’ effectiveness, gather employee feedback, and make adjustments as needed to ensure optimal outcomes.

Wrap Up

Affordable corporate technical training is not just a dream; it’s a reality that can supplement formal training well. By leveraging performance support, employee-generated content, social learning, and other cost-effective approaches, you can equip your workforce with the skills they need to thrive in today’s digital age without breaking the bank.

Investing in affordable corporate technical training demonstrates your commitment to employee growth and trust while driving overall organizational success. It fosters a culture of continuous learning, collaboration, and innovation.

These are essential for workplace success in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape.

We’d love to work with you on your strategy for providing valuable performance support; schedule a free consultation. We’ll work with you on the right strategy to meet your company goals and support your employees on technical topics.

If you venture into the employee-generated content and social learning route, our instructional design consultants are your go-to resource for creating the best strategy. We’ll work with you to enable these powerful learning tools for employees.

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