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“Doing More With Less” to Provide Relevant and Affordable Employee Training

With the economic outlook continuing to be bleak for many companies, we are hearing HR and Training Managers say they have fewer resources and less budget yet, even as organizations are downsizing, demand is growing to ensure each remaining staff member is able to function at the highest possible level. While many in the industry argue that less budget should mean lower expectations, in many companies this is simply not possible.

In this posting we explore how HR, Training and line managers can “do more with less” about employee development by using the eLearning (online courses) products to enhance and boost performance on the job at a fraction of the cost of sending individuals to in-person training programs.

Here’s how one manager used a Rapid Skill-Builder eLearning module, Improving Customer Service at her weekly team meetings to learn, reinforce and apply new skills.

Week 1:

Team Leader (or Trainer) uses 15 min. at the weekly team meeting to discuss WHY Improving Customer Service is important to the team’s success, and HOW customer service skills impact individual effectiveness.

Week 2:

Team members complete the eLearning module at a time convenient to each (60-90 min. – stop and start OK) and download material (cue cards, booklet, template).

Week 3:

Team Leader (or Trainer) conducts de-brief discussion; team members discuss how the module can be applied to work on the team. Team members go away with instructions to use the online course’s action template with 1-2 work challenges for next week.

Week 4:

Discussion and sharing of template examples to reinforce application of customer service skills on the job (30 min.).

Total Cost = $60 per team member; total time invested by the leader less than 3 hours – BIG impact for SMALL investment!

We think there are many ways for small investments in training to pay off big for companies and individuals if we are focused in what we try to achieve and creative in using our resources. Online learning, reinforced with on-the-job exercises and discussions, is one way to stretch your training budget in lean times.

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About Anne Sandberg

With a degree in Experimental Psychology and a masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Anne Sandberg has 25+ years of experience in the human resources, training and management consulting arenas. Anne is President of ReadyToManage, Inc. and can be contacted at

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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