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4 Tips for High Impact Training on a Tight Budget

By Tim Deuitch

No matter what the economic climate, training budgets tend to be tight. In this video, Tim Deuitch and Bo Smith discuss 4 strategies to make your training as impactful as possible.

Tim Deuitch: 00:01 By definition, we don't have enough in our training budget, do we?

Bo Smith: 00:14 Never.

Tim Deuitch: 00:14 It's tough. In some cases, really it's very true. It is a tight training budget. But the fact of the matter is what gives us the best possible chance to succeed with that is to have a really strong plan. Let's talk about a few of the ways that we can absolutely maximize that training.

Bo Smith: 00:40 A key thing is defining success. What is it that you really need the most? What can you be most successful with? If you think of a sports team, you don't go out there just to get better each week. You have specific things that you can hone in on to get better at. And it's no different from training.

Tim Deuitch: 00:59 It's true. You know, imagine a team that just runs out to practice and you run around. There's no particular structure. You haven't really looked at the type of things you got to get better at and so forth. You just go play. Well, business can't work that way, can it? We have to work on the things that will help us succeed.

I'll add another one and that is around focus. Focus on the most critical skills you need to address in order to succeed. Again, same story. Imagine that you didn't. Imagine that you only touched on those skills. One of the things that we find with companies that are trying to operate on a limited budget is they run trainings which are kind of designed to have one size fits all. The frustration that participants express about that is, "Right when we started the focus on the thing I needed most, we jumped to something else." Focus.

Bo Smith: 01:55 Another concern is timing.

Tim Deuitch: 01:59 Yes.

Bo Smith: 01:59 Some firms are in the midst of hiring people, hiring salespeople, hiring a manager, and that's not the best time to do training. So look at when is the best time to maximize your opportunity. When it comes to timing, one of the nice things that we offer at Strategic Enhancement Group is public seminars, which we offer throughout the year. We can fit your timing and it's affordable.

Tim Deuitch: 02:23 Yes, absolutely. The other thing this allows for is one of the natural concerns that folks have with a limited budget is they say, "Well, all right, if we're going to focus and we really believe these skills are the ones we want to work on, is your training the right training?" By sending one person to dip their toe in the water and learn and understand that, that allows the company to feel even more confident. When they are that confident, they will spend that money and focus that training at exactly when the timing is right. Because otherwise, what they often do is they say, "Well, the second quarter is when we train," because it's right for some other business reason. The right time to train is when you can absolutely maximize the value to everybody involved.

Let's go to the fourth one, which is what do we do after training? Because that's really when training comes to life.

Bo Smith: 03:17 That's essential. One of the special things we offer here is extended learning. For a period of up to about five months, the attendees are reinforced in what they've learned and the managers are reinforced. And so you get the maximum value out of it.

Tim Deuitch: 03:31 If you do it. What we focus on, if we can, we strongly urge it, is to have the managers involved in many different ways where you methodically reinforce and practice the skills for months until you feel like you have them as second nature. Again, imagine if you're part of a sports team and all you did was have one practice, one training, and then you had to play the entire schedule. Well, that's sort of absurd, right? What we realize is yes, you look at what might be a small training budget, but what you're really realizing is the value of that training is what you do afterwards. It's how well you plan out the reinforcement.

Bo Smith: 04:18 Very much.

Tim Deuitch 04:19 Okay, quick summary. First step, define success. What are we going to accomplish with this budget? But more in the context of what outcome are we looking to achieve? Second step, focus. Focus on building the skills, the muscles you need most at this time with these people to succeed as a business. Third piece is timing. Make sure you train at the time where you have the best chance possible to succeed. Not on somebody else's calendar, but in the timing where it makes the most sense. And fourth, understand that the power of that training on any size budget, but especially small budgets, the power of that training comes in what you do afterwards.

Published: July 31, 2020

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Tim Deuitch

Vice President - Client Success

Tim brings over 25 years of experience working closely with business leaders throughout the Twin Cities and the USA. He has worked within a multitude of workplace cultures and economic cycles, helping leaders and teams improve their effectiveness and results. Since joining SEG in 2007, Tim has continued his work as a change agent, helping organizations meet their goals. Tim graduated from Warren Wilson College in 1983 with a B.S. degree in social work.

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