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5 Ways to Cost Share Training With Your Workforce

Building human capital is one of the most important things you can do as a leader for your organization. By building your employees’ capacity, you can improve morale, increase productivity as well as increase organizational optionality-posturing your organization for future growth. You will also reduce turnover, as employees see a longer term relationship with your company as a personal investment.

Dollars can be tight however, and often additional training in the form of certifications or degrees is something that businesses hope their employees will acquire, but is not within the organization’s budget to fund. In those circumstances where you need your employees to complete additional training but cannot afford to pay for the training in toto, a few simple cost sharing techniques can make the difference between them completing the training or not:

Give time off for the training – if the training is in line with present or future duties within your company, consider providing your team with time off for the training. A day off here and there, or regular early releases can make the additional burden of training on top of work sustainable long-term. Remember, as they train to become more relevant for your organization, they are working for you on their personal time. Offset it!

Flex the schedule – Odds are fair the training you want your employee to take will occur sometime during your business’ core hours. If possible, be flexible with their schedule so attending the training becomes logistically feasible. Sometimes leaving early, a longer lunch period or the flexibility to make up hours on the weekend can make the difference, enabling the employee to complete the training. Be flexible with their schedules and you will reap the benefits of their higher productivity!

Cost-share the instructor/testing fees – Consider using your facilities and/or work time to bring in a trainer-to enable business certification training for instance. Pay for the instructor and ask your team members to pay for the certification/testing fee is another cost sharing arrangement. In this way, you cost share in reasonable ways and can complete a lot of training very quickly. Reducing fees can make additional training feasible.

Tie future raises to training completion – Give your employee a financial incentive to train. If they know that a raise is on the horizon once the training is complete, they are much more likely to make the sacrifices and complete that training. In this way you also coherently connect financial rewards with the capacity building you need out of your workforce.

Double-Dip – If your employee is in an MBA program, it is likely their school projects have immediate business relevance to your company. Work with them to align projects topics with your company’s business analysis needs and let them complete those projects on work time. They will have an easier time finding projects for school and you can get advanced training directly applied to your immediate business problems!

However you do it, make sure that you are doing what you can to cost share training with your employees. They need the training and you need them to have the training, so your interests are in alignment. Ensuring that you make the training accessible and feasible to obtain is an investment in your company and in your people, both of which yield substantial dividends!
Michael Farr, PMP, is a Chief Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and founder of He is passionate about recognition and enabling professionals to motivate their organizations through recognizing their member’s excellence. When he is not slaying dragons with his kids, he can be found at @fosterxcellence on Twitter and @fosteringexcellence on Facebook.

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