Published on October 19th, 2019 | by Bibhuranjan


How to Support Employee Development on a Low Budget

Employee development is important for small and large businesses in every industry. When your employees are more knowledgeable and talented, they are able to bring those skills to their day-to-day tasks. They may recommend more efficient techniques, invent new products, or become more productive.

In addition, these development programs could also help with employee retention. When an employer gives educational opportunities to their employees, it boosts loyalty and makes employees want to work harder.

While a low budget can limit your options, it is still possible to create an employee development plan. Once you have a plan in place, it can immediately impact your company’s morale and productivity. If you are looking for low-budget options, the following ideas can help.

Train Early

One of the best things you can do to support employee development is to thoroughly train your employees as soon as you hire them. You always want to invest in training at the start of their employment instead of waiting until later on.

If an employee learns to do something the wrong way, they will feel disgruntled and annoyed if you correct them months or years later. When you correct new employees who are still learning their job, they are more open to changes because they are just starting out.

In addition, you never want to throw employees into a position without enough guidance. If employees do not know what to do or how to do it, it is impossible for them to be productive.

Because of this, you need a comprehensive training program that provides your employees with a solid base of skills and knowledge from the very first day of work.

Cover Subscriptions

When an employee wants to learn about their job or discover information about a work-related subject, you should reward and encourage this behavior.

Often, the best learning resources are the cheapest. A driven employee can learn just as much out of a high-quality textbook or business magazine as they do from a training seminar.

If you want to support employee development, start by providing your employees with magazine and journal subscriptions. You can provide your employees with a list of options and offer to pay for the subscription if they are interested. Other than magazine subscriptions, you can also recommend podcasts and blogs.

Depending on your budget, you can also recommend reading options for your employees. For example, create a list of textbooks and business books that you will buy for them.

Then, each employee can get a monthly book-buying stipend. If you do not have a large enough budget to do this for every employee, you can add a bookshelf to break room with a selection of business books instead.


Cross-training provides benefits for your employees, but it also makes your business more productive. When you have cross-trained employees, it makes it easier to replace someone who is on vacation or sick.

Cross-training allows your employees to learn the skills they need to work in multiple departments. This helps to expose different departments to new ideas and different ways of doing things. In addition, it helps team members in one department learn how their role relates to and supports other departments.


When someone is new to an industry, they face a steep learning curve on their first day at work. One of the ways you can make this learning experience a little easier is by partnering your new employees with a mentor.

A mentor helps introduce the person to your company’s culture. They can answer questions and give new employees practical advice about doing their job. You can have your human resources department take care of finding mentors.

If you run a small business, you can also talk to your best employees and see if anyone wants to volunteer as a mentor.

Expert Seminars

Humans have turned to teachers for thousands and thousands of years for a reason. From Aristotle to Sir Isaac Newton, teachers have made it faster and easier for students to learn a subject. Instead of wasting their time on irrelevant books, students are able to immediately jump to the book they need to learn a new skill or task.

A good lecture from an expert helps employees learn a skill in the most efficient, effective way possible. This lecture can be through a podcast, a video seminar, or in person.

If the topic is an important one for your business, you may want to arrange for the guest lecturer to come to your business and give a seminar for everyone at the same time. Afterward, your employees can solidify their new knowledge by talking about the experience together. If it seems like your employees enjoyed this, you can make it a monthly or quarterly event.

Cover Online Course Memberships

One of the best ideas to show appreciation is to cover the cost of online courses for your employees. If online courses are too expensive, you can also consider membership to platforms like Skillshare.

These kinds of platforms allow employees to immediately access a wealth of learning opportunities. Other than improving your employees’ skill level at the office, paying for these programs also shows your employees that you appreciate them.

It Can Be Done

Employee development helps your employees become more efficient and effective at their jobs. In addition, it shows that you care about the employee’s personal career goals. As an added benefit, your company gets to enjoy having highly skilled employees for a fraction of the cost you would pay for an employee who already had those skills when they initially applied.

By investing in your employees’ development, you are essentially investing in the future of your business. Even on a low budget, it must be done to the best of your ability.

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Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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