I just came across this whitepaper The Value of Training
and I think this should become required reading for anyone making financial decisions for a company. Unfortunately it is too common and too easy to cut skills development and training budgets in the hopes of improving gross margins.
But, as this whitepaper points out quite effectively, this short-sightedness will cause higher attrition, higher support costs, and the risk of falling behind in technological advances.
But if money's tight, what can you do?
- The IBM Education Pack helps you save money on a variety of training options, and until March 3, the discounts are higher than normal.
- IBM developerWorks, PlanetDB2.com, and ChannelDB2.com are filled with training ideas that are free or less expensive. These include articles, tutorials, videos, podcasts, webcasts, free e-books, virtual conferences, and so on.
- Books continue to be a very low cost way to build skills. Check online bookstores to find the best price for printed books, but also consider e-books. IBM has a company-wide subscription to the online book engine Books 24x7. What a great way to ensure that all employees have access to a wide variety of the latest published books.
- ILO classes can cut down on training costs by allowing employees to call into a classroom setting rather than having them travel to a class. ILO classes may be less expensive, but they still provide the high quality content and instructors that you expect from an IBM training class.
- Certification is another thing that should never be ignored. Going through the certification process, an employee will learn many new things and they will have proof at the end that they are skilled in that area. Also since certifications are job-role based, you can ensure that you or your employee are targeting the skills that are needed for your job. There are many training options for gaining the skills to get certified including classes, books, and tutorials. Best of all is that there is a "Assess and Save" promotion going on right now that allows you to save 50% of the exam fee.
Bottom line... don't sacrifice training budgets in these tough times. Keeping your employees skilled will help you weather the storms.