Learning and Development in Tough Economic Situations

Most construction and mining companies are experiencing economic downturn for various reasons. It is at this point in time that senior managers must take tough decisions to keep their organizations above water. Some of the decisions may include retrenching some of the staff, closing non-core and non-profitable sections of the business, but in most cases, they start by cutting down the training budget.

When the economy picks up, we then advertise jobs with higher job specifications than what potential employees possess. This leads to serious frustrations and it some instances, recruitment goes as far as overseas. That alone is a costly exercise. How can this situation be avoided?

I am one of those who support learning initiatives during the economic downturn. Select some of the star employees that are placed in very productive sections of the business and develop them during this period, so that they become mentors to the new employees you will need to employ when the upturn takes place. Engaging with effective training providers (not just accredited) who will use effective learning initiatives, is very critical at this stage as you are not doing training for the sake of meeting the numbers, you are training for survival.

The time has arrived to pay training providers in tranches.  It would seem reasonable to pay 50% for the initial training, and the remaining 50% if not more, for when the company realizes actual return on investment.  It is a big ask, but I think it is doable. Is your training department or training provider ready to be paid on results? Bums on seats and “days of training” is the old way; results is the new norm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *