The right train of thought leads to bigger opportunity

9:15 AM, 27 July 2016

Right training

Getting the most out of your training budget

One question I'm often asked is, 'How can I get the best value out of my training budget?'

We're living in an economic reality where budgets are tight. So, in response, my question is, 'How do you prepare your team for success before they even start?'

At The Marketing Association, we view the training relationship in three parts - each with their own set of obligations and commitments.

There is:

  • the learner
  • the manager
  • the training provider.

ANZA has invited me to touch on the first two here.

Team member

1) Ask yourself, why are you doing this training? Knowing 'why' you are there will keep you focused and ensure that when you finish, you leave with what you came for. It will also be a reference point when the study gets tough (and when you are engaging in study that runs over a period of months -- it will get tough!)

2) To get the full benefit of the learning -- do all of the work! It sounds simple -- but that old saying 'failing to prepare is preparing to fail' rings true in classroom preparation.

3) Draw on the knowledge of your peers, your colleagues and your tutors. Learning in the classroom can produce some really interesting conversations at the water cooler.


1) Help your team member establish clear learning outcomes, what do they want out of this course, what does the organisation want out of this course?

2) Schedule time to regularly check in with your team members. As their manager, show interest in their classes and coach them through their thinking. This process is a powerful learning opportunity in leadership for you the manager, and a critical touch point for your team members' learning experience.

3) Create a supportive environment for your team member; this is particularly important when pursuing a qualification that extends over several months. It may be time for study, exam preparation or coffee on tap: support comes in many forms.

Creating value through learning does take time, but the payoff shows across key business metrics, from employee engagement and performance to retention and productivity. All of which are surely the metrics that count.

Vanessa MacRae
Director - Learning and Development

Are you maximising your training budget? Looking to update and improve your training systems? Curious about the last part - the training provider? All feedback, queries, and opinions are welcomed to

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