It’s a new tax year here in the UK, which means that you can start afresh with your budget. If you are in charge of an L&D department and you want to make sure that your money goes as far as possible this year, consider how you can deliver valuable lessons and information without breaking the bank. Looking for some motivation and inspiration? Here are some great free or very affordable options to engage staff and deliver training in the year to come.
1. Introduce selfie videos
Do your staff have lessons they could teach each other (let’s be honest, everyone has a skill of some kind)? Now’s the time to take advantage of the power of selfie videos. Have your employees record and share an important lesson they’ve learned, or have a supervisor film himself explaining an important process. These humanise the experience immensely and are sure to enliven any training you have, at negligible costs.
Don’t think these will work? Just check out your LinkedIn newsfeed – it’s full of selfie videos which have been hugely popularised in the past year!
2. The first rule of book club…
Yeah, remember them things called books? Put the Kindle down!
Believe it or not, books are still a classic way to develop new skills and teach lessons. Why not start a book club within your team or business, with monthly discussions on key subject areas. There are loads of fantastic forward-thinking books out there on subjects like leadership, inspiration, motivation and more.
If you’re serious about tightening the purse strings, try offsetting the costs of the books, or buying them secondhand to save money.
3. Establish a mentoring program
This one is entirely free – apart from the time it will take you to organise. Pair up more senior staff members at your office with those who are newer or less experienced – this has a twofold effect on your business: Mentors can impart valuable wisdom and knowledge and help foster better relationships at work, giving them purpose and making them feel valued and knowledgeable. And new hires will feel much more comfortable with one ‘buddy’ for them to turn to in their early days. Magic!
4. Recruit teachers to teach new skills
Everyone has a special skill or hidden talent. Put a call out to your team to learn more about their standout abilities, then ask if they’d be willing to teach it to other employees. Try and pick skills related to your field – but don’t limit it to only serious stuff. Although one does question the validity, and indeed necessity, of being able to eat 3 Jacob’s Cream Crackers in 1 minute, so maybe park that one for now.
5. Provide a resource library
You probably have a treasure trove of L&D materials already laying around the office. Organise these into a library (physical space) — or a knowledge base — that is browsable, where people can look something up or learn something new in their downtime.
Orrrrr.. Guess what? If you’re a Litmos Heroes customer you’ll get access to over 15,000 free resources, giving you a huge head start!
6. Give out weekly thank you notes
Part of L&D is encouraging people to learn and make strides – so something as simple as recognising accomplishments can go a long way in encouraging and engaging employees. Consider this: each week, send out three to five handwritten thank-you notes expressing appreciation for an achievement someone made, or an action they took. A handwritten note can go a long way when it comes to motivating people to study and work hard.
7. Use Canva
Our marketing team cannot stop talking about this – so we wanted to share it with you.
If you want to make the materials you use to create and promote your L&D programs look professional and pleasing to the eye check out Canva – a photo and graphic-editing software that will let you add some flair to your materials, for free. Create imagery for LMS emails, posters, new presentations and more, all with supplied templates.
8.Engage with other local businesses
Are there larger companies in your area that specialise in what you do? Do some research about groups that offer learning opportunities to industries like yours, then sign up your team to attend free or low-cost ones. Start building relationships with these businesses and provide some reciprocal upskilling!
9. Learn over lunch (or other edible snacks)
Find experts (or maybe even those internal teachers you found earlier) willing to donate an hour of their time to help your employees learn. Then, host a lunch learning session where team members can come and listen to a lecture or lesson from the expert. To encourage attendance, offer free beverages, dessert or snacks.
The snacks really work. Trust us. Our most highly attended staff meeting involved the rather delightful presence of doughnuts. #truestory.
10. Get in, on and around YouTube videos
YouTube isn’t just a great resource for watching cute cat videos; it contains a huge amount of valuable resources for nearly every industry. Spend some time searching for YouTube videos your company could learn from, then share them with your team. You can watch them all together at learning sessions, or ask people to watch them on their own time.
SHAMELESS SELF PLUG = Or, ya know, if you’re feeling fancy just subscribe to Litmos Heroes. Over 2,500 courses and videos available whenever you need it…
11. Take a trip (to the wild side)
You know, your staff could probably benefit from some fresh air. Why not take a trip to a local site or museum that can help enhance the learning experience for your employees. Is there an important historic spot related to your industry, or a museum that covers the background of what you do? Choose a museum that’s free or go on a day that offers admission for no charge (or discount). Then, have everyone meet there, instead of the office.
Big fun day out. And remember, don’t forget the snacks.
12. Create a forum
Start an online forum where people can share helpful resources, ask questions or simply discuss interesting topics – perhaps you have a space on your LMS or your intranet? Participation in the forum can be voluntary, but you might be surprised how many people want to find out more about what they’re interested in or engage in discourse with their peers.
Want even more free ways to help improve your L&D department? Why not download this free ebook?