We’re pleased to bring you a guest post by a Skillsoft customer, Stacy Wasson, Senior IT Trainer, CNO Services, LLC.
By Stacy Wasson, Senior IT Trainer
Budgets, budgets, budgets – unless you are lucky enough to work with sales or marketing (and their big coffers), your training organization likely struggles to be effective within the constraints of a small budget. Having been a training professional for over 15 years, I am a veteran when it comes to developing training and learning events on a shoestring budget. Although my main passion is developing a workforce through well-designed training and ongoing learning development support, I have long realized that to be effective, training professionals need to first gain audience (and management) buy-in. Learning is more effective when it is “pulled” vs. “pushed,” with learners coming to you ready to take advantage of what you offer. That takes marketing – which is very challenging with resource constraints, but it is NOT impossible. You CAN market training on a shoestring!
A case study
in shoestrings – ASTD National Employee Learning Week, 2012
When my group, the IT Training Team at CNO Financial Services, learned in late November 2012 that the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) National Employee Learning Week was coming up on December 3-7, we immediately saw an opportunity. We could leverage the week as a platform to broadcast messaging about what learning and training opportunities our team brings to CNO IT associates and to engage with our audience in a fun, informative way. Instead of letting our budget (or lack thereof) hinder us, we decided push ourselves creatively to take advantage of this opportunity.
We started by looking at what we had, and what we didn’t have, to ensure that our creative ideas could work within our constraints. The list of our main hurdles (budget, short turn-around time, audience in several locations) provided parameters for event brainstorming.
CNO team members from left to right: Beth Hopewell, Nikki Brummett, Stacy Wasson, Katie Hettmansberger, Nancy Wulff, Adrienne Hall
Next, we evaluated our strengths. Time was short for us to plan and execute, but the early December timeline for ASTD’s learning week matched up well with our team’s light project load. We leveraged this fortunate timing along with the high interest and enthusiasm from our team to participate, to plan activities.