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3 Practical Ways to Lower the Cost of Employee Training

by Debbie Williams

 No company can be successful without an effective, ongoing employee training program in place. Since leadership and development expenses can increase an organization’s bottom line, many corporate leaders want to lower the cost of employee training for their companies. There are simple, practical ways to do this.

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The High Cost of Cutting Out Employee Training 

Do you recall when the recession first hit? It was shocking, sobering, and frightening, especially for corporate leaders who were wracking their brains, trying to figure out how to stay in business. Employee training/leadership and development programs were cut from many companies’ budgets in order to preserve funds. What business owners and managers found, though, was that their actions had negative consequences. They soon discovered that 40 percent1 of employees who are not thoroughly trained within the first year of employment leave their positions, and that it can cost up to $2,500 for companies to replace a frontline employee1. So while cutting out training may sound like a good way to save money, in reality it is a good way to raise an organization’s bottom line.

3 Practical Ways to Lower the Cost of Employee Training

In our post-recession corporate world, employee-training expenses claim a sizeable portion of most companies’ budgets. In 2015, the U.S. spent around $70 billion2 on employee training. There is probably no manager or business owner who wouldn’t like to lower these expenses.

Reducing the cost of employee training may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 3 practical ways to facilitate this:

Reduce the number of tutorials offered to employees – Today’s average employee is often required to take in an overwhelming number of tutorials that convey corporate practices, protocols, and hard and soft skills. While some tutorials are necessary, others may not be. The article 5 Tips for Reducing Your Company’s Training Costs3 states, “Complying with federal regulations and ensuring that workers can follow strict guidelines regularly is vital, but unnecessary tutorials could be eliminated. For example, business leaders could consolidate information from different tutorials into a single training session. These officials can encourage workers to ask questions and provide feedback as well, which could help these administrators further improve their training materials in the future. Examine how training sessions currently are conducted and make changes if necessary.”

Encourage mentoring relationships – It’s possible that many companies do not fully utilize in-house training resources, the most precious resources being their employees. To lower costs of training, managers could assign new hires to seasoned employees. Not only can seasoned workers show newer employees the ropes of a company; they can also teach them skills that are needed for long-term success. While a mentoring relationship should not replace formal training, it can supplement it, reducing the amount of formal training a new hire may need. Best of all, mentoring relationships cost companies nothing.

Offer online training options – Training expenses related to business travel can really add up and do damage to an organization’s financial health. Certify’s infographic Understanding the Average Cost of Business Travel4 states, “Recent data indicates that the average cost of domestic travel (in the U.S.) is $111.7 billion each year. Additionally, business travelers spend an average of $949 on airline costs, hotel fees, and other expenses during trips around the U.S. annually. Meanwhile, for every dollar spent, companies commonly see a $2.90 profit increase and a $9.50 rise in revenue.” Some of the business-travel expenses referred to in this statistic relate to training. Traveling to and from training sessions, conferences, and workshops is costly and can increase the bottom line of a company. To eradicate the need for this, training must be either localized or offered via an online platform. Since it may be unrealistic to try to localize training, offering online training can be a great choice. When training is offered online, delivered through a social learning management system (LMS), employees can access training literally twenty-four hours a day, using nearly any type of mobile device with a Web browser. Instead of having to fly or drive to a training location, incur housing and food costs, etc., workers can train from the comfort of their own homes. Implementing online learning is not free, but it can be quite economical. If corporate leaders are careful to only launch a learning management system that charges a flat rate and has no per-user fees, they may end up saving their companies a lot of money.

Employee training is vital to corporate growth and increased revenue, but it can be pricey. Corporate leaders can lower the cost of learning and development by reducing the number of tutorials offered to workers, encouraging mentoring relationships, and implementing online learning.

 How does your company keep its training costs reasonable?


  1. https://www.go2hr.ca/articles/employee-training-worth-investment
  2. http://www.inc.com/yoav-vilner/3-ways-to-cut-employee-onboarding-and-training-costs.html
  3. https://www.coxblue.com/five-tips-to-reduce-your-business-training-costs/
  4. https://www.certify.com/Infographic-TheAverageCostOfBusinessTravel.aspx
Debbie Williams

Debbie Williams

Director, Marketing