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Leaner Learning This Budget Season
As budgets trend downward, effective leaders are offering development opportunities that do not require significant spending but have a noteworthy impact.
With the first day of fall two short days away, vacation days are dwindling and summer’s official close is blowing in budget season — one of the busiest and most stressful times of year for leaders as they’re incessantly asked to do more with less. To ensure next year’s learning and development efforts have an impact on business, learning leaders will have to focus on aligning their efforts to business strategy by carefully selecting development goals. Training, action learning projects and personal and 360-degree assessments need to be aligned to the business strategy as well.
“This process helps you know where your gaps are,” said Kelly Botto, a partner at Camden Consulting Group. “It helps you evaluate what you need to do and justifies your budget. If you can bring your realizations to the leadership team and say, ‘We’re building a development culture and opportunities this way, here’s how they will make a significant impact on our company strategy,’ that will help calm nerves and give validity to L&D efforts.”
After two years of decline, more than half of CLOs reported their 2011 budgets were higher than in 2010, according to a 2011 survey by research firm IDC. Although as recently as May the trend in learning budget changes was looking even better for 2012, July data from IDC suggests economic uncertainty is returning. Roughly 35 percent of CLOs report their budgets have been reduced since the beginning of 2011. While enterprises expect to continue investment in learning management systems, assessment systems and performance management capabilities, they’re eager to use modalities that will make a larger dent in employee performance than the L&D budget.
According to Botto, when considering new development opportunities, learning leaders should consider programs that allow for on-the-job learning at less of a cost. Initiatives such as lunch- and-learn sessions can leverage internal knowledge and talent if learning professionals ask leaders with deep industry or company knowledge to run sessions that focus on specific policy or industry issues. Employees will be given the chance to learn more about the business while discovering opportunities for growth in their own careers.
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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