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November 2008

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Welcome to the November edition of our monthly newsletter. It’s hard to find a business or organization not impacted by the current global financial meltdown. Precipitated by the sub-prime lending crisis in the United States, the effects are now being felt in every corner of the globe. How is your organization coping? Are you having to make less income stretch even further to meet your expenses? How are you making the most of the people that you have?

There is no doubt that investing in your people pays dividends. The results of a recent benchmarking study overseen by the American Productivity and Quality Center (AQPC) demonstrates that organizations that train their employees reap the benefits on many fronts. The study found that organizations that invested more enjoyed higher levels of customer satisfaction, lower employee turnover and higher revenue per employee. For example, organizations that invested five or less training days per employee per annum returned median revenue of $137,931 per employee. On the other hand, those organizations that invested more than five days returned $210,380 per employee.

Nonetheless, given the current crisis, training staffs are being asked to cut back on training expenditure. In our feature article this month, Leslie Allan illustrates ten things you can do to see through these tough times. Trimming your training expenditure doesn’t necessarily mean giving up on the benefits of training. Plus, as every organization adapts to the new environment, we have a special combined deal on our training evaluation and change management toolkits. If this is your first issue, we trust that you take away much that is of value. And don’t forget to download our printable Product Catalogue from www.businessperform.com/BPCatalogue.pdf.

Cutting the Training Budget: How to Save Money in Lean Times

This may not be the first time that your CEO has sliced your training budget and I am sure it will not be the last. If you already run a lean and mean training function, then congratulations on your efforts. You may find, though, that your previous good management will not slow the CEO from asking you to shed some more expenses. Whether you have already optimized your training function in the past or you realize that you have a long way to go, here are ten practical steps that you can take to weather any financial storm.

1. Provide more self-help workbooks and on-the-job aids.

Replace some of the high cost training sessions with materials and aids placed where people do the work. Laminated procedures, checklists, tips’n’tricks, lists of shortcut keys, ready reckoners, and so on, may be effective replacements for full-blown training sessions. If somebody is having difficulty handling angry customers or using Microsoft Excel, check out your local training publishers for self-paced workbooks.

2. Conscript local experts or coaches to take the place of some training sessions.

If people have some knowledge and skills about the subject, identify one or two local experts in each area to act as a central point for all questions. Make sure that the experts and coaches you nominate have the required communication and interpersonal skills.

3. Cut training sessions that do not add value to the organization.

Does your organization really need that assertiveness skills training course? What tangible benefit did your organization achieve from it? Drop courses that do not show a demonstrable advantage to your organization. I’m not saying that these kinds of courses are never worthwhile. During difficult periods is the time to review whether they are of real benefit to your organization now.

4. Reduce participant contact time for face-to-face training.

If you outsource some of your training or hire outside contractors, trimming contact hours can save you direct costs. If you pay salaried in-house trainers, having participants spend less time away from their work will save on lost opportunity costs. Save upfront time by sending out preliminary materials for participants to review before they arrive. Save trailing time by placing job aids in the workplace, setting up on-the-job coaches or conscripting participants’ managers to oversee workplace assignments and exercises.

5. Review and rationalize your list of training suppliers.

Where you use more than one training vendor for a course or a range of courses, negotiate a better deal based on increased volume. A shorter list of suppliers also means that you are able to develop a better quality business relationship with each. For your other suppliers, use your best negotiating skills to drum down rates. Do your homework and shop around. In tough economic times, suppliers will be well tuned to not wanting to lose existing clients. If possible, do not compromise on quality.

To read all ten tips, click here for the full article.

Special Offer

In tough economic times, you need to ensure that you are getting the most from your training expenditures. In addition, you will need to manage effectively whatever changes you make to your organization’s structure, processes and people. To help with these two important tasks, we are giving away both of our toolkits for the price of one. Our Training Evaluation Toolkit and our Managing Change in the Workplace guide are normally priced at US $50 each. For the next 7 days only, download both for only US $50.

To get the two for one deal, click here to buy now
   Don’t miss out – offer ends 13 November.

Training Evaluation ToolkitOur Training Evaluation Toolkit is a complete practical guide and toolkit for measuring and reporting the impact of your workplace training programs. With it, you will be able to demonstrate the impact of training on productivity, efficiency, quality, customer satisfaction, and so on. You will also be able to convert benefits to financial values, such as Return on Investment, Benefit to Cost Ratio and Payback Period. Whether you are a novice or experienced professional, this guide will walk you through planning your evaluation exercise, collecting all relevant data, isolating non-training factors and then analyzing and reporting the results convincingly to your key stakeholders. The toolkit is packaged with a full set of reusable and customizable forms and calculation worksheets that you will use from the start to the finish of your training evaluation project. To find out more, visit www.businessperform.com/html/training_evaluation_toolkit.html

Managing Change in the Workplace practical guideOur Managing Change in the Workplace: A Practical Guide is intended for everyone expected to lead, manage and implement change. It covers every aspect of managing change, including essential principles, managing stakeholders, dealing with resisters and much more. As you work through the guide, you will complete a series of practical exercises that will help you plan and manage your change for maximum impact. On your journey, you will be treated to a variety of tools, techniques and tips for ensuring that your change lasts. The guide is packaged with a separate reusable workbook that you can use time and time again. To find out more, visit www.businessperform.com/html/managing_change.html

We accept 15 national currencies and this exclusive bundle can be downloaded immediately upon confirmation of your payment. Offer ends 13 November, so click here to buy two for the price of one now

Be sure to pass this newsletter on to friends and colleagues who want to stay up with what’s on. From all of us here on the Business Performance team, we wish you a productive month and look forward to communicating with you again soon.

In This Issue
Cutting the Training Budget

Special Offer

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