Getting Your Employees to Cross the Training Finish Line—It’s as Easy as Ready, Set, Go!

Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Business Start Up Advice [ 0 Comments ]

Hate to say it, but at the rate technology is changing, employee training is almost inevitable. While encouraging your employees to seek professional development outside of the office is great, as a small business owner you also have a responsibility to provide quality training in-house. So, whether you just hired someone fresh out of college or you are working with veteran employees, training on the latest best practices is necessary about once every two months.

Unfortunately, the current economic situation causes small business funds to be tight, which generally leads to a negative attitude about employee training. Spending the money, finding the right internal training programs, deciding who needs training, and then evaluating that training might seem draining, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. The popular “you have to slow down to go fast” applies beautifully to employee training. In general, information technology (IT) professionals will need training most frequently, however all departments can benefit in many different ways:

–       Increase in employee productivity—Knowing what you’re doing speeds things up!

–       Less turnover—People are more likely to stick around if they feel confident in their work.

–       Higher job satisfaction—Being good at what you do is a big motivator!

–       Opens up the recruiting process—You will be able to hire someone with potential even if they lack a specific skill.

–       Less employee supervision needed—This will also aid in productivity.

–       Rewards long-time employees—Veteran employees can qualify for promotions and become more marketable.

Obviously, in order to get specific, quality training, all departments require information. In my opinion, this is the most overwhelming part of in-house training for owners. You do not want to be too general in your training, but it can be a big task to create so many separate training programs. However, with the help of outside sources and some of your most experienced staff, training employees in-house can actually be quite simple:

Three Different Ways to Get Your Employees to the Finish Line With Ease

  • Bring in outside assistance

There are many training services out there that work with different businesses to create a customized training program. After talking with you and other owners or managers, you would create a list of objectives for your employees, and these can be different for different departments. These organizations then come to your office and conduct a training program for as little as a few hours or as long as a few days. Generally, these programs either charge an average rate of about $150 per person or $50 per hour.

  • Pay for employees to take short online courses

Online courses are great for companies who do not require an employee to obtain a formal degree. There are several online courses that you can ask your employees to take that will allow them to print out a certificate of completion. Classes are always up to date, and with a certificate of completion you can ensure that your employees are continuing in their professional development. You can either allow employees to leave work early to complete the test, or you can pay for the test. The prices for these classes vary, but good programs can usually be found between $80 and $300 per course.

  • Create your own training program with the help of your managers

Creating a program within the office is usually an easy way to increase employee relationships, control what is being taught during training, and is cost effective. Consider working with the managers of each department, and lay out what it is you want in regards to training. Do you want and specific skills covered? Do you want the program to last all day? All week? What do you want as proof the program was successful? There are also several training software programs that those running the programs may find beneficial. Software programs often offer great templates to create games, quizzes, and an overall layout for the rookie trainer.

In the end, potential customers and potential business partners will look at your company with more respect if they know your employees have been properly trained. Once again, being properly trained internally does not mean a meeting once a year to remind employees that they have a handbook. If your employees can obtain an online certification, your managers have materials to show that they taught a training program, or you have enlisted the help of an outside organization, you company will be looking more up-to-date than everyone with an IPhone 3.

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