In a time of economic recession does it really pay to train?

The last two years have been a particularly difficult time for all businesses. A global recession and continuing concerns over financial security has led to a period of ‘belt tightening’ not seen since the 1930s. Priorities have to change, as everyone looks for ways of saving money and maximising profit margins. So is now really the time to spend money on training?

The simple answer is yes. Training, apart from being a legal requirement in some professions, is an integral part of business development. No business can afford to simply stand still, even when the economic climate causes most businesses to readjust their financial priorities. But training in new aspects of your field of expertise or even venturing into new areas can put your business on a firm footing when the inevitable upswing starts to happen. Organisations that give training a low priority will find that, once the clients start coming back through the doors, they don’t have the expertise to deal with a changing marketplace and will ultimately lose out to those who have kept up with the latest developments.

It’s not as expensive as you might think…

Training needn’t be prohibitively expensive. With so many different methods of training available, there is bound to be one that not only suits your requirements but also your budget. One of the most cost-effective ways of training is to carry out in house sessions where the training organisation comes to you and delivers training to a group of people, rather than working on a one to one basis. This also minimises disruption to your daily business routine, allowing your staff to check emails or return messages during their breaks, for example. It also means that several members of staff can be trained at once, reducing the overall costs. In house training also cuts out additional costs such as travel and accommodation expenses.

Showing you’re confident about the future

Training can also demonstrate your confidence about the future of your organisation. It demonstrates to your staff that you are prepared to invest in both the company and them personally, which can be a great morale booster particularly during a time of economic uncertainty. It is this entrepreneurial spirit that can propel a business forward when others are merely ‘treading water’ until things pick up. Rather than waiting for better times, training can be the catalyst that generates growth, even during the darkest days of a recession.

A great ROI

Training also represents a good return on your initial investment. People want to consult an organisation that continually improves its standards of excellence, not one that uses outdated and outmoded techniques. For every pound spent on training, far more revenue can be generated because clients have the confidence to consult you, rather than your competitors. Training demonstrates your professionalism, your continual desire to improve your standards and your commitment to providing clients with the best possible service. The result will be a reputation for excellence, a motivated workforce and the stability to ride out even the gloomiest financial times and allow your organisation to emerge on the other side of the recession ready for business.

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