How to Get the Most From Your Corporate Training Budget

Posted by Bob Gibson on Fri, Jan 27, 2012 @ 08:04 AM

Here’s a statistic that blew me away: Corporate Training Budgets add up to a $50 billion industry.  50 Billion!  According to Training Industry’s 2011 Survey, Corporate Training Budget figures include not only spending directly on training, but training staff and outside products and services.

Bob Gibson, Mentor ResourcesHere’s another outcome I didn’t expect: Big companies (10,000 or more employees) are training more, but the money, when you look at it on a basis of how much is spent on the average learner – is down!

Everyone’s in the same boat – how do we do more with less?  How do we stretch shrinking budgets, to produce better results in training?

Here’s the best kept-secret on the block:  Mentoring is the most cost effective method (and the best bang for your budget buck) around to stretch your corporate training budget and achieve superior results.

Time and Money per Corporate LearnerThe chart outlines it clearly.  Employees spent more time in the classroom in 2011, while companies spent less – budgets were down. For a company to accomplish more with less requires new approaches and creative solutions. 

One of the ways smart companies are increasing the learning from their corporate training budget is with mentoring programs.  Mentoring has a lot going for it.  A good Mentoring program utilizes talent already in the organization; it’s good for morale, and the payoffs for mentors, mentees, and the company are impressive.

Once a program grows beyond a handful of “matches”, the programs benefit immensely from the use of software, including mentoring program software such as WisdomShare®.

That’s because a hand-run mentoring program is time intensive, and matching a mentee with the best mentor is a difficult skill to master.  Depending on size, a full blown mentoring program requires a full time administrator and a staff with special skills.  A software program like Wisdomshare not only assures quality matches (which are the heart of a mentoring program) but does it at a fraction of the cost.

Using our definition for a large company of over 10,000, the average training budget in that range is a little over $12 million. The average for a mid-size company (1,000 to 10,000) in 2011 was about $1.8 Million, which is an increase from 2010.

When looking into coporate training budgets, here’s what I found to be an interesting trend: the increase in corporate training software in corporate training budgets. 

This includes not only mentoring program software (like the aforementioned WisdomShare®), but knowledge management software, talent management tools & system and software for training management administration.  You can check out the specifics of corporate training budget in the 2011 Training Industry Report, which can be accessed through the link.  Clearly, corporate has not only accepted, but embraced technology as a full-fledged partner in the development of their people.

Still, professionals responsible for corporate training are wrestling with the dilemma of how best to spend corporate training budgets.  Roberto Goizueta, legendary CEO of Coca-cola in Atlanta was famous for his saying, “I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted.”  When the other person said, “Why are you spending that money?” he replied, “I don’t know which half.”

That quandary is in full force today.  In marketing, for example, the internet is bringing us solutions like Google and linked-in advertising.  These are added to time honored avenues like direct mail, print advertising, radio and TV.   I was at the movie the other night, and ads for TV shows are running at the movie theater!

All this to say: In business today, employees are constantly seeking the best ways to squeeze results from every dollar spent.

For HR managers in corporate training, succession planning or talent management, the question is, “How can we get the most out of our corporate training budget?”, here’s an answer: leverage the training currently offered by installing a program to enable well trained employees to transfer that knowledge to others in the organization.

Along those lines, here’s another stat that I found significant: In a study by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), training alone increased managerial productivity by 24%. But when training was combined with a well-run mentor program and coaching, productivity increased by 88%.

That’s heavy!  And that backs up studies we’ve conducted and customer feedback we’ve received here at Mentor Resources.

However you slice it, a well-run Mentoring program is one of the best investments a company can make toward achieving their strategic objectives in the marketplace. 

We’re the leader in corporate mentoring program software.  If any of this rings a bell, give us a call.  We’d love to talk to you about how mentoring can revitalize your corporate training program and help you maximize the impact of training on your company’s bottom line.Click me

Topics: talent management, Learning, competitive advantage, eMentor, mentor program software, mentor software, corporate mentoring programs, Corporate Training Budget