By Chazbrooks Communications (CBC)

Training, when done correctly and efficiently, generates energy, motivation and confidence: key tools in keeping competitive in a recession.

Training doesn't have to be expensive. At CBC, we are always looking at the most effective way of delivering training, and link any training plans directly into our Business Plan. We draw on internal resources to deliver a range of soft skills, PR and on the job training and use funding options to bring in external trainers. This is an area which is important to look at (Business Link, Train to Gain etc) are there to help small businesses. This has meant that our training budget has gone a long way. Because we have been able to bring in direct business benefits from any training that we have done, it has paid for itself and brought in new business as a result.

We have devised a spreadsheet that records, amongst other things, how much time we have spent on training, and costs based on an hourly overhead cost. We also record feedback from staff for every training received (we have a simple grading system) and can thus match business objectives with personal training outcomes. In a recent yearly exercise, we asked staff how much they thought we had spent on training and they all thought that we had spent more on them than was the case. This is proof that we are efficient with our training budget and that staff recognise the value. What’s more, our investment in training means that the service we offer our clients is of a higher standard, and that we can offer them advice when it comes to training their own members of staff.