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.
Exorbitant 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 entirely eliminated, affordable corporate technical training can help reduce costs a lot.
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 at times 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 just 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 are equipped with the necessary technical skills to navigate the changing digital landscape successfully.
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 the fact 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.
Every leader should be striving to create a workplace where employees feel valued. It’s also nice because when employees are trained properly they’re also 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 need to provide them. That’s especially true for specific knowledge for the organization such as a company-specific application.
By investing in the development of your employees’ technical skills, you not only enhance their capabilities but also drive overall organizational success.
Why Formal Training Doesn’t Always Cut It
Formal training methods have long been the go-to approach for corporate learning and development. They’re pretty engrained in nearly all societies. You can see this being evident even in generative AI when you ask what training looks like.
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 then it likely doesn’t cut it in today’s rapidly changing workplace.
Even virtual instructor-led training (vILT) doesn’t really do a good job 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.
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 not only cost-effective but also 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 on the formal side 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.
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 that focus on upfront knowledge transfer, performance support provides employees with on-demand resources and tools to assist them in their day-to-day 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.
The beauty of performance support lies in its ability to deliver targeted information precisely when it’s 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 mostly on performance support eliminates the need for extensive upfront training that may not be immediately applicable to employees’ daily work. That means they likely forget a huge amount 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 effective 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 day in and day out?
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 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.
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 channels such as 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 not only enhances the effectiveness of your training programs but also cultivates a culture of continuous learning and innovation within your organization.
Evaluating the Cost-Effectiveness of These Approaches
When it comes to corporate technical training, cost-effectiveness is a critical factor to consider. 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.
It’s essential to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of different training approaches based on your organization’s specific needs and resources. Consider factors such as upfront costs, ongoing maintenance expenses, scalability, and the potential return on investment.
For example, performance support may require an initial investment in developing job aids or online tutorials but 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 go 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 at a relatively low cost 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 know three of the most affordable corporate technical training methods, it’s time to put them into action 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 will need to be available.
It’s also essential to foster an environment where employees feel empowered to contribute their knowledge and expertise. Recognition of their efforts is also nice and providing incentives to do so is even better.
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 have to 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 keep in mind that implementing affordable corporate technical training is an ongoing process that requires continuous evaluation and improvement. Regularly assess the effectiveness of your training initiatives, gather feedback from employees, and make adjustments as needed to ensure optimal outcomes.
Affordable corporate technical training is not just a dream, it’s a reality that can supplement formal training quite 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 all essential ingredients 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, just 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’re going to 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 tools as powerful learning tools for employees.