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Traditionally, training is regarded as a luxury and the first budget to be cut when recession strikes. But as Team GB’s performance in the Olympics shows it is training that puts you into world class.

There are many ways in which training can be effective without a specific budget. Judicious use of internal resources is the crucial one; often the expertise is already there in-house; it just needs to be used. Here are some examples of training that will not cost the earth, most based on text in our book, Human Resource Practice. Some may be valuable for your employees, some for yourself!

These activities can be undertaken, in most cases, using internal resources:

  •  instruction from one employee to another
  • coaching and mentoring
  • work diaries and log books
  • records of continuing professional development, they foster attention to learning
  • rotating a person’s job with someone else at a similar skill level
  • enlarging the job by providing more tasks or responsibilities at the same level
  • enriching the job by adding tasks at higher level of responsibility
  • group meetings, perhaps with a facilitator to draw out learning points
  • projects and assignments
  • NVQ programmes, which Colleges are keen to provide at minimal cost
  • computer help facilities, online and offline
  • internet information resources such as wikipedia
  • You Tube
  • networking forums such as those provided by the Chamber of Commerce as well as many professional groups, and commercial and quasi commercial enterprises
  • social networking
  • attending talks and presentations such as those provided by those who provide networking forums
  • guided reading
  • visits to other organisations, even competitors who might colloborate
  • delivering talks and presentations – learn by teaching
  • action learning – hard to find for free but business schools often offer themat economical rates – or buy a book and set up your own group