Smart investments Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2010

When the economy turned and things got rough, training was probably one of the first things that got cut out of the budget. While the move may have saved you money, you may have lost productivity or even seen morale go down as employees saw your investment in them dry up.

But as the economy slowly improves, now may be the time to reinstate your training and education programs. People need to have their skills upgraded to compete in today’s economy. The existing work force has a lot of pent-up demand for training.

This demand also cuts across many boundaries. There is a large number of people who are out of work and would like to learn new skills. There is also a large number of entrepreneurs and business executives who would like to learn about how to handle specific challenges.

But one of the ramifications of the tough economy is that the overall expectations of training and development have gotten higher. People want more of a personal return on investment.

One of the demands that people want to see with advanced training is more applicable skills. In the old days, someone would come in and lecture on theory and principle and participants were often left to figure out how these theories applied to them or their company. The training was also done at a location and time that was convenient for the trainer rather than the participants.

That model simply doesn’t work in today’s environment. Training needs to be delivered at a time and place that is convenient for the attendees. The delivery method might be via satellite with a top-flight trainer located in another state or even another country. It might be a set of webinars or other Internet-based methods. In fact, even the overall curriculum of a training track should be customized to maximize its effectiveness for you and your company. The one-size-fits-all, off-the-shelf solution just won’t cut it anymore.

One example of a solution to this problem is Global Corporate College, which focuses on finding the best techniques taught by the best people.

When choosing a training partner, you have to find one that will customize the curriculum to help people learn. The way an entry-level person learns is different than the way your vice president of finance learns, and if someone’s proposal doesn’t differentiate between the two, you should ask why.

For example, Global Corporate College works with each company to deliver custom content in whatever way makes the most sense for the organization. Through its network of 60 colleges and universities, GCC is now delivering training across the United States and in nine countries and has worked with companies like Green Mountain Coffee and Kansas City Southern Railway. Global Corporate College’s network allows it to deliver consistent content to wherever your employees are located.

Training is an important part of any successful organization, and providers like GCC can help you achieve your goals. But no matter what provider or delivery method you go for, make sure you are getting a return on investment in the form of usable skills or techniques. The economy is still rough and every dollar counts. Hold your training to the same high standards that you use throughout your company and you’ll ensure you are in good shape for the future.