Cost Effective Training Tips for Small Businesses
Small businesses do not have the training resources that large corporations enjoy. Likely, your personnel budget is much more modest, requiring a more innovative approach to instruction. Still, you can keep your employees informed by incorporating the following effective training strategies.
Many of the same courses that large businesses fly their people out to can be taken online. Typically, these courses are short, can be viewed at any time and can also provide employees with a test for your assessment.
For more extensive training, you can work with a college or university to have your employees trained by them too. Many semester length courses are available online and might be valuable to your employees.
Lunch and Learn
Training does not have to take all day. Some lessons are learned within the hour, making lunch breaks the perfect opportunity to train your people. Understand what your labor laws are as you may have to provide a paid lunch.
One way to approach this type of training is for lunch to be brought in and the training to take place while your employees are eating. A sales representative can share a new product, a company vice president might discuss business trends or one of your employees could give a testimony.
Develop a Mentor Program
Teach new workers the ropes by pairing up experienced employees with new people. Your staff already knows the ins and outs of the company and can impart valuable information to new people.
Mentoring does not need to be constant. It can be used for certain events including meetings with customers or planning sessions with upper management. You can also switch your mentors to give your employees a chance to work with each other.
Cross-Train Your Staff
Training is not always formal. It can come by learning different jobs and handling a variety of assignments.
Cross-training can give your employees a better understanding on how a business runs. For instance, John in accounting might answer sales calls one afternoon per week. Lucy in data processing might screen new applicants for human resources every other Friday. Cross-trained employees can also relieve each other when a person goes on vacation, calls in sick or must handle a family emergency.
Team Up With Others
If you belong to a trade association or you are with a local chamber of commerce, you may be able to take advantage of group training. Instead of hiring a company to provide training for your business, the association would bring in a trainer for its member businesses. You will save money because costs are shared among companies.
You may also discover that another company has needs similar to you. Exchanging senior personnel to train your own employees can bring in a new face with a fresh perspective, imparting information of value to your staff.
There are time when working with the professionals is essential. Instead of sending your staff away from your business, bring a professional in to train your people to avoid a major inconvenience.