Employers Spend on Training despite Recession
Eight out of ten employers have maintained or increased their training spend in the past six months, despite the economic slowdown, research by the Institute of Directors (IoD) has found.
The IoD’s survey of nearly 1,000 companies found that employers believe training is an effective way of boosting staff morale, increasing productivity and improving customer satisfaction.
Nearly nine out of ten company directors said they planned to at least maintain training budgets during the next six months, with the majority preferring to cut costs in other areas such as hospitality, events and entertainment. Just 12% said they planned to reduce their training spend in the remaining months of 2009.
“Even under considerable pressure, training budgets have not been hacked back,”
said IoD director general, Miles Templeman.
“Members are emphasising that maintaining training now will help position their organisations well for the upturn.”
However, the survey showed that the recession had affected the type and style of training offered to staff. Almost half of businesses admitted they were now prioritising what they saw as ‘essential’ training such as short courses in customer service and sales, rather than ‘investment’ training such as degrees and professional qualifications.
Many were opting to take training in-house to keep costs down, using senior staff to coach others and using online training courses, according to the poll.
Margaret Dale, consultant at HR consultancy ECC, said that small firms wanting to maximise training benefits on a tight budget should use existing staff resources.
“It’s important to look at people’s expertise in the workplace and draw on their talents. If you’ve got somebody who’s a whizz at IT or social networking, for instance, think how they can pass on their skills to colleagues.”
The key, she added, was not to cut out training altogether, adding:
“Consider online learning which can be very cost-effective, and if you can only afford to send one person on a course, make sure they feed back to the team.”