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Smaller organizations often have little or no budget to train their management teams. But no budget doesn’t have to mean no training. HR can encourage managers to take free online management courses.

Several colleges offer Opencourseware (OCW) courses. These are free online non-credit versions of for-credit classes originally taught on campus. The OCW courses typically include many of the same materials—lecture notes, assignments, exams and syllabi—used in original on-campus classes.

Here are some of the best free training resources:

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s OCW website (www.ocw.mit.edu) provides several business and management courses. Examples: Undergrad courses in People & Organizations and Organizational Management. Graduate courses include Urban Labor Markets and Employment Policy, Communication for Managers and Business Analysis Using Financial Statements. Go to http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/sloan-school-of-management. Click on “management” and then “Sloan School of Management.”

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania provides a course entitled Strategic Planning and Execution. The course covers the strategic decision-making processes of successful businesses, and methods for using an organization’s vision and goals to create strategy. Free strategic planning software is included. Go to http://www.kutztownsbdc.org/course_listing.asp?course=3.

The Financial Management Training Center offers 20 business courses, including Leadership, Strategic Planning, Managing Projects and Process Improvement. Most courses include exams. Some courses provide supplemental materials such as case studies, PowerPoint presentations, workbooks, tool kits and white papers. Go to http://exinfmvs.securesites.net/training.

Kaplan University, a for-profit private college, offers Introduction to Business, which covers business ethics, communication technology and globalization. Go to http://ocw.kaplan.edu/business/introduction-to-business.

Search for a range of business and management courses at the Opencourseware Consortium (http://www.ocwconsortium.org) and Academic Earth (http://academicearth.org), which provide links to OCW and other types of online courses offered by colleges nationwide.   

Free online training for HR professionals

You can also find plenty of free online HR courses offered by colleges and universities.

The University of California Irvine provides Training and Human Resources Development. This OCW course teaches students to identify, implement and evaluate an organization’s training and development needs. The course consists of 10 multi-part lessons and five topics, including a summary and short quiz with solutions. Go to http://ocw.uci.edu/courses/course.aspx?id=18.

The New Jersey Institute of Technology offers Human Resources Management, an opencourseware (OCW) course that consists of 26 online video lectures. The course covers HR planning, managing workforce diversity, recruitment, benefits and job analysis. Other topics include human resource information systems, motivational strategies and wellness programs. Go to http://ocw.njit.edu/som/hrm/hrm-303/index.php.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a graduate course entitled Strategic HR Management. The course focuses on creating and implementing human-asset management strategies that make organizations more competitive. Topics covered include high-performance HR systems, performance management and reward systems. The course includes lecture notes, assignments and exams with no solutions. Go to http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/sloan-school-of-management/15-660-strategic-hr-management-spring-2003.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers HR tutorials and guides covering areas such as child labor, terminating employees and state new-hire reporting requirements. Go to http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/managing-business/running-business/human-resources.

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