Posted by Caveo Learning ● December 10, 2015

When Learning Budget Shrinks, Transform Training Tactics

oil_industry_trainingWhen the fortunes of a company or an industry hit a downturn, the unfortunate reality is that the learning function is typically among the first business units expected to do more with less funding. Often, that means curtailing scheduled training and placing development of new learning initiatives on indefinite hold.

This is, of course, counterproductive; in tough times, when worker efficiency is an especially prized commodity, effective employee training is critically important. Rather than scaling back L&D, the better path is to refocus on the ROI of training and find ways to do it more cost-effectively.

In the fall issue of Energy Executive magazine, Caveo Learning Senior Instructional Designer Robert Davis takes a look at how firms in the oil and gas industry—currently reeling from plunging oil prices worldwide—are changing the way they conduct training in response to slashed learning budgets.

First and foremost, blended approaches that combine traditional classroom training with virtual interactive sessions or guided eLearning are gaining popularity with budget-conscious firms. Blended learning means reduced travel requirements, but since the live instructor component remains, learners are still able to benefit from personalized instruction and discussion of ongoing experiences. Similarly, the transition of instructor-led training content into eLearning is picking up steam in the oil and gas industry.

Compouding the fiscal burden on oil and gas learning departments is a rapidly retiring workforce. Half of current industry workers are expected to retire within the next seven years, forcing learning leaders to speed implementation of  enterprise-level knowledge capture programs. One major oil firm is pursuing a strategy of "guided experience," teaming seasoned mentors with novice colleagues to train them on the nuances of a given job. Not only is the guided experience program a budget-friendly alternative to traditional training programs, it also has the added benefit of building community among the workforce.

Read more about how the oil and gas industry is using innovative learning methods to deliver training more cost-efficiently in the current issue of Energy Executive.

Topics: Learning Strategy