Monday, 22 September 2008

The Crunch Starts to Bite...

A few months ago I put up a post about the Credit Crunch and whether this was having any impact on L&D budgets. The response that I received was fairly mixed - some people were cautious but hadn't yet seen any impact, some had already experienced an impact whilst others predicted no change.

I suspect that the picture may now have changed and I would love to hear an update from you all.

When the pressure to meet targets is really on this is the ultimate test for an organisation's faith and commitment to its people. If you have to put some L&D investments on hold for a while then don't break the golden rules:
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate: most people will understand if some L&D activity has to stop in the short term if you explain to them why. Communication with people in different but consistent ways to make sure the reasons are clear.
  • Postpone the L&D rather than cancel it: If people know that their training will still be taking place but just a little later than expected then that's a much better message than 'all training is cancelled....".
  • Budget for the postponed training: If you are putting back L&D activity until next year then make sure you include it in next year's budget.
  • Focus on no cost L&D activity: Demonstrate your ongoing commitment to developing people by encouraging and facilitating L&D activity that has no or minimal cost. For example ensuring managers are equipped to and are having appropriate coaching conversations with their people, ramping up the use of web based learning, encouraging lunch time masterclasses, set up action learning groups, facilitate a mentoring programme,  encourage work shadowing, ecncourage people to document their personal development plan and 'best next move'.....
Tough times can be a really interesting time for L&D professionals. You may have to be creative but it means you have a chance to demonstrate your real worth to the organisation.  Are you up for the challenge....?

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