If you’re a business owner, you know how valuable a dedicated, well-trained staff can be. Your employees are the lifeblood of your business, and without them, you’d probably have a hard time selling products and finding new customers. One worry many business owners with dynamite staff have is that some of their employees might find other jobs. An easy way to battle this fear and keep your employees happy in their roles is to offer ongoing training through your company to help them further their skills and careers.
Why It’s Important
Whether you’re trying to drive salesforce competition or build camaraderie among your staff, providing extra training opportunities is important to develop your workforce continually. The main reason training is important is because it helps to develop your team’s skills. The odds are you won’t be able to hire a full docket of experienced, seasoned salespeople or professionals in their area, so offering different opportunities to learn and grow can help those entry-level employees catch up. As your employees get better at their jobs, your business should start to see growth and improvement as well.
Training employees is also a great way to validate performance reviews. For example, at an annual performance review, you might tell a newer employee you’d love to see them master a new skill in a different department. As eager as they may be, if they’re never given a chance to cross-train in that department or take courses explaining the basics, it will be nearly impossible for them to achieve this action item. Providing training opportunities for them will help them make progress during the next year and meet the goals you set in their review.
Employees want to work where they feel valued, and when they’re offered opportunities for advancement, they do. Making continued training part of your business is an easy way to show employees you’re invested in their careers and want to see them rise in your company. With the free training, they can! The more you develop your employees, the easier it is to move them into management and beyond because you’ve groomed them and developed their skills to exactly what your business needs in management roles. This glimpse at a better future will help keep your employees with you instead of jumping for another job offer.
Benefits of training
Training can offer lots of benefits to your employees, but it is beneficial for boosting morale and filling gaps in their skills, as mentioned before. When employees feel valued, they tend to work harder and be more productive because they want to show their boss they’re dedicated to the cause. Bridging any gaps in competencies with extra training or education gives them the know-how to complete their job accurately and quickly so they can spend more time on developing new customers or leads.
Continued education can also help your staff keep up with the changes in your industry. Some businesses like insurance or financial management are heavily regulated and have government-mandated continuing education requirements. If you offer things like free extra courses or one day a month to catch up on the latest news and laws, then you can give your staff an incredible edge in these technical fields. Even in less regulated industries, there is still lots of technology affecting how people do business, sell products, and relate to their customers. Training employees on new pieces of equipment or software can help you stay current and keep moving your business into the future.
The more current your business is, the more competitive you can be in the market. Couple this with having a dedicated and capable staff, and you’ll easily become the frontrunner in the marketplace. Training helps you stay competitive and can even give you insights into corner specific markets or outdo your competition. Adding in education opportunities to keep your employees in a competitive mindset can also help them know where to direct their newfound energy and skills.
How to implement training
Now that you know how much training employees could benefit your business, you might be wondering how in the world to implement these strategies. After all, there probably isn’t a whole lot of downtime in your office, right? Well, to start, you luckily don’t need to have an entire lesson plan drawn up. You just need to start identifying ways you could build a program.
One important aspect of developing an education program is to include your employees in the decision because, in the end, it’s all for them anyway. You could send out a survey, take a poll, or simply open the floor at your next staff meeting to see what people are interested in learning about or areas in which they feel they need more instruction. The answers to these questions can serve as your baseline for creating a curriculum.
Next, you’ll want to identify leaders and mentors among your staff or your community which could lead the charge if you’re looking at in-person learning. Maybe a department manager just finished an advanced degree, or an employee just received an extra certification, and they could teach the rest of the team about what they learned. Or you might even have a seasoned employee who’s been in the business for decades and might have some valuable insights to share with new hires. Your leaders can come from anywhere, so keep your eyes open.
When you make it down to starting your program, you’ll need to pick the right training method for your staff. There are a few different options to choose from. The first is your classic in-person classroom learning. You might block out a boardroom for an hour or two each month and invite anyone interested in listening to a speaker or participating in leadership activities. Sometimes you can even hire other companies to come in and teach courses each week for your employees.
Another way to do things is online. You can offer a free online course to anyone interested, and they can complete it at their leisure, whether on work time or personal time. This is a great way for people to take charge of their own continued education and not have it interfere too much with your daily operations. This type of learning usually involves interactive learning like quizzes at the end of a chapter, scenario simulations with questions, or video calls with other people in the course.
You could even offer some on-the-job training, especially for people looking to learn more about other business areas. This could be as simple as allowing an employee to shadow someone else for a day or have them work in a different department once a week. On-the-job training is great because your staff is still accomplishing all the necessary tasks while broadening their skill set and learning about new tools and procedures.
Offering continued training to your current employees is an easy way to make them valued and boost their morale. Talk to your staff to see what they’re interested in learning, find a leader to champion the cause, and then pick which type of training you want to offer to see all the benefits mentioned above.
Last Updated on May 2, 2021.