7 Tips To Set An Accurate Budget For Your Leadership Development Online Training
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Setting A Budget For Your Leadership Development Online Training

Creating an online training budget is relatively easy. You crunch some numbers, factor in software licensing, and meet with the accounting department to make your business case. However, sticking to it is another story. Many organizations make the mistake of underestimating their L&D implementation budget. Hidden fees overlooked content creation costs, and lack of preparation can put your online training ROI in jeopardy. So, how do you set an accurate leadership development online training budget to prevent overspending and keep your expense sheet in check?

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1. Consider Existing Assets

Resources you already have for leadership development online training can stretch your budget. Even if they weren’t originally intended for that purpose. For example, repurposed webinars and demos for your JIT leadership support library. Another asset to consider is your authoring software. Rapid eLearning tools may have built-in multimedia you can use to develop new content for less. Do an inventory to avoid double-paying and make the most of pre-existing content. Even if you have to rework some of that content to make it consumable for modern learners or break it into bite-size resources for your support repository.

2. Include Outsourcing Costs

Do you plan to outsource any aspects of your leadership development online training course? If so, you must factor in all associated costs. From hiring an eLearning content provider to future revisions—if that’s not included in the deal. Also, consider the process of finding a provider and vetting potential candidates. This takes time and resources that you must account for your implementation budget. For instance, you may need to spend a week meeting with vendors and pay for sample projects. Lastly, meet with the eLearning content provider in advance to get a detailed estimate and development timeline.

3. Factor In New eLearning Authoring Tools And LMS

I mentioned eLearning authoring tools earlier in this article, but what if you need to invest in a new platform? This is another expense you need to add to your leadership development budget to avoid overspending. You might have to purchase new rapid eLearning authoring software so that you have templates, image libraries, and other assets to draw on. Or even a new LMS to replace your outdated system to improve accessibility. Open-source systems may be free of charge, but they aren’t free to customize or implement. Especially if you have to hire an IT pro for backend coding. So, don’t forget to tally up tool costs and all associated upgrades, updates, and add-ons.

4. Prioritize Online Training Gaps

You don’t have to address every objective of the online training gap straight away. In fact, you should prioritize existing online training challenges to keep costs manageable. Conduct a Training Needs Analysis—which should also be added to your budget—to identify the most pertinent areas for improvement. Then determine the best course of action based on available resources. As an example, you experienced a jump in compliance violations last year. How can you prepare team leaders for these challenges and help them support their team?

5. Add Ongoing Maintenance

One of the most overlooked leadership development budget expenses is upkeep. Unfortunately, you can’t simply upload content to the LMS and expect immediate results. Your support tools, certification paths, and courses require ongoing maintenance to stay relevant and employee-centered. For example, you must update the interpersonal skills path to include new abilities team leaders need to get the job done. This also includes gathering eLearning feedback from employees to identify hidden gaps and personal preferences. As well as spot emerging gaps that require your immediate attention.

6. Use Employee Contributions To Reduce Spending

Employees have valuable knowledge and skills to share with their co-workers. It’s simply a matter of knowing how to tap into their talents in online training. Encourage employees to contribute DIY resources to cut costs and get them actively involved in the online training process. Invite them to upload their content to the system for admin approval. It can be anything from online training tutorials and demos to podcasts and infographics. The goal is to prompt them to share their unique expertise with the team. Then everyone can benefit from their strengths and past mistakes. You should develop some guidelines so that they know which resources to contribute and topics to cover. More than one employee can address the same online training topic because every staffer has different viewpoints. However, there shouldn’t be 10 redundant video demos for the same task.

7. Calculate Payroll Expenses

Time is money. That rule also applies to your leadership online training budget. Payroll expenses can actually be one of the most significant expenses. You must pay for in-house developers, admins, and SMEs to create content that resonates with team leaders/employee training participants. Even implementing new software takes time and patience. Meet with your team to get a rough estimate of how many hours each task requires. Then leave a little buffer for unexpected obstacles. For instance, the new LMS is more challenging to master than you thought. Or they need to rework existing assets to fix inaccuracies or glitches. If you must hire permanent L&D staffers, salaries, benefits, and vacation time are also budgeting factors.

No leadership development budget is set in stone. You may need to update your expenses based on evolving needs and objectives periodically. For example, your current eLearning authoring tool doesn’t cut it anymore, and you need to invest in a new platform. Or you decide to launch additional certification paths to address emerging gaps or compliance issues. Thus, you should always leave some wiggle room in your budget for unexpected fees and fresh content development.

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