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How to spend your L&D budget wisely

One of any L&D professional’s key concerns will be delivering an effective learning programme on what inevitably feels like a tight budget. When you’re accountable for both a training budget and learning outcomes, which may include high-consequence compliance training, it’s essential that you’re spending that budget wisely - especially when you’re constantly being expected to do more for less. So the next time you’re reviewing your L&D budget, what are the key things to consider?

Check those contracts

Many L&D teams fall into the trap of signing up for long contracts with vendors on the promise of annual cost reductions, but ultimately you can end up signed up for products that are no longer fit for purpose. Instead of securing what initially seems like a good deal for a long-term contract, next time think about whether or not the service or technology you’re paying for will stand the test of time in the context of your organisation.

For instance, are the features you initially wanted five years ago still important today? Have your needs changed, and if so, has your technology adapted with you? If not, it could be time to consider switching to open technology, which has the benefit of being customisable, adaptable and moved between vendors if yours is no longer meeting your requirements.

Stop chasing the next big thing

If you go to any industry exhibitions or conferences, it’s easy to see whatever is being touted as ‘the next big thing’ and want to jump on the bandwagon immediately. But before you buy 1,000 units of that expensive VR headset, first think about how you would actually use it in your organisation. Is there a real business need for it, and even if there is, do you know how to make the best use of it?

For instance, VR, AR and AI are hot topics in learning at the moment - but think first about whether a more cost-effective approach could do the same job before you blow your budget on an expensive suite of software or devices.

Review your analytics

Many L&D teams are still failing to monitor the analytics their LMS provides, meaning that they are missing out on a lot of really useful data. If everyone is excelling in the customer service module, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel and reproduce the entire unit.

However, if many people are failing their presentation skills training, this suggests that your budget would be better invested here to investigate the root cause of people’s challenges and put improved content in place to support them. Setting up automatic reporting in your system allows you to review learning and performance data regularly to give you a clearer idea of how you can best improve your training ROI.

At Totara, we believe that open technology gives organisations like yours the freedom to save. Why get trapped in an expensive contract for a product that only ticks some of the boxes when you can opt for an open learning platform that can be tailored to your precise needs? If you’re interested in finding out more about how Totara helps organisations worldwide make better use of their L&D budget, why not take a look at our case studies to see how businesses globally are already saving on the cost of training with Totara?

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