How a Company saved $1 Million on Staff Training Costs by Using HRDQ’s Reproducible Training Library

Posted by HRDQ on 02/19/2018 to Return on Investment (ROI)
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By Belinda Sharr

The Increase in Training… and Costs

The Staff Development Unit at the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation and California Correctional Health Care Services recently recognized the need to provide quality training sessions for their staff — yet they had the challenge of implementing an effective training program within a reasonable budget. 

Training has become increasingly important in organizations today, yet it comes with a cost. According to "Forbes," U.S. spending on corporate training has grown to more than $70 billion. The Association for Talent Development's State of the Industry Report reports that the average spending per employee per year is $1,229. 

The California Department of Corrections team looked at their staff and determined that they needed some breadth and depth to bolster their non-technical training program and they also wanted to provide a "library" of developmental tools that could be launched fairly quickly. 

In order to make the most cost-effective decision on necessary training, the team decided to break down the cost of doing their own training, vs. using HRDQ's Reproducible Training Library (RTL), which contains more than 300 hours of customizable training materials focusing on critical soft skills and is a full curriculum of employee training programs on important topics.

Picking the Best Solution -- The Process

They team looked at the cost of creating their own training compared with purchasing fully-researched training already available, and they noted it was apparent that they would save significant money by purchasing the RTL and modifying it, rather than developing the courses starting from scratch. The staff development team broke down the cost of creating an entire training program in house —they looked at all working parts, like how based on industry standards, instructor-led training (ILT) development time is estimated at 114 hours per 1 hour of classroom time; eLearning (eL) development time is estimated at 210 hours per 1 hour of level 2 eL time; and how an instructional designer's hourly wage at mid-range would be $34.13. They added up the costs:

•    348 total hours x 114 hrs/hr = 39,672 hours
•    76.5 total hours x 210 = 16,065 hours
•    39,672 hours x $34.13 = $1,354,005
•    16,065 hours x $34.13 = $548,298

After all of the costs were tallied in an Excel spreadsheet, the team determined that the price to build their own program would be a whopping $1,902,303. They compared this to the cost of HRDQ's readily-available RTL, which costs $3,999, plus their own customization costs (totaling $153,585) and they determined that purchasing the RTL would save them $1,744,719! And not only would buying the product save them a lot of money, but it would save them time as well — there would be no spending many months on developing a new program. With a bit of customization, the RTL would be ready to go. To the team, the answer was a no-brainer. 

Happy with the Decision

The staff development unit appreciated the ability to provide quality learning opportunities at a reasonable cost per person and not be "on the hook" to have to continuously buy assessments, workbooks, handouts, job aids, and more in the future.  They also liked the unlimited permission/rights they received to be able to print off leader guides, participant workbooks, and other materials.  

The staff development unit had used HRDQ materials in the past and found that they were well researched, designed for engagement, and easy to implement. The team's instructional designers then planned to modify the courses to add the organization’s branding and meet internal design and development standards.  The team identified 31 courses that will be appropriate for any member of the staff, from entry-level through management. The organization considered these "core skills" that employees should have. They also identified another seven courses that will be part of their analyst training series. Additionally, there were 31 courses that will be appropriate for members of the leadership team, including first-line supervisors through mid and senior managers. Once the decision was made to purchase the library in the fall of 2017, the team planned to roll out the training the following year.

Training Set To Begin

At this point in late 2017, the team is developing specific, measurable learning objectives for each course they teach, and they plan to start the exciting process of issuing this cost-effecting training to their staff in 2018.


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