Times are changing. Our clients are looking at cutting costs more than ever before and as a result our rates we can charge them are being controlled more than ever. Positions are being cut which is increasing competition for the open positions that do exist. In doing so, we need to make sure our rates are even more controlled than ever before in order to keep our resources competitive. We continue to operate with minimum corporate overhead which gives us a great competitive advantage but we also need to think outside the box on how to control our costs.
We are seeing salary demands beginning to come down due to the competition in the industry, but this is only one side of the equation. We also need to look at controlling the cost side. It is critical that we do this without changing what makes our company one of the best places to work (http://bizj.us/qevg9). Our benefits package is top notch and that needs to remain that way. Training is one of those items that provides more of a benefit to an employee than it does to a client nowadays. Reason being is that in the contracting world, when a customer wants someone with a certain skill they hire them. They don’t look to send a current resource to get trained to learn a new skill because of the cost it incurs but also because going to three days of a class does not bring them back an expert either. As a result, this cost incurred by a company is largely no benefit to them other than the intrinsic value it provides their employees as they feel they are learning new skills. But is this worth the cost that it levies on a company? We are talking about often times $1500 for a 3 day class not to mention lost revenue from the person being unbillable during that time…and this assumes it is a local class and doesn’t cost you travel and room and board!
We are in the process of rolling out a new Knowledgebase for our employees. The goal of this knowledgebase is for all of our employees to have the ability to get exposed to new technologies without having to spend days out of the office. It will cost nothing for us to provide this service. While it is not the same as formal training class, it is a solution we can provide during tightening times that not only allows our employees the ability to continue to learn but also helps us control our costs and still provide our full set of company sponsored benefits.
So how does it work? Basically, we will set up a heirarchy of topics in a folder structure on our intranet and begin to populate these folders with articles, white papers, training slides, videos etc on these topics. When one of our employees learns of a new topic, they can create a new folder and then others can add in content that is available to all. In the meantime, our staff can browse the knowledgebase and read about emerging technologies, or maybe an existing one they had always wanted to learn about but never had a reason or a means to do so. Will this limited exposure turn our people into experts on all of these topics? Absolutely not. But I ask, does 3 days in a training course where the instructor usually reads from a set of slides do that today? Our thought also is that this method will expose our staff to more types of technology as well as the newest technologies that do not yet have training classes offered and make them more well rounded. Love to hear peoples feedback on the topic. Email me your thoughts: firstname.lastname@example.org