Laura Stack stopped by the blog today to share her "7 Tips for Training Small Business Employees without Blowing the Budget".
7 Tips for Training Small Business Employees without Blowing the Budget
Employee training is an important aspect of business growth. However, with today’s major focus on cost cutting, training is often one of the first things to go when budgets are tight. However, because motivation or skill level can be impacted, which in turn affects engagement or productivity, the long-term costs of eliminating training can be much higher than the short-term cash gain.
Luckily, you can strike a balance between budget constraints and your organization’s training needs. Here are seven ways you can train your employees while staying within your budget:
Use online learning platforms such as udemy.com, coursera.org, and Lynda.com to provide free or low-cost training to employees through online resources and videos. Google the skills you need with “training” in the search term, and see what training opportunities you can find for low or no cost.
Conduct an internal analysis of your workforce to find trainers within your organization. Look for people with good communication and interaction skills, who have ample experience with the desired training topic, and you just might have found an ideal trainer. Sign them up for classes or certifications to build their expertise on the topic before they start training.
Arrange brown-bag lunches in your organization every week or every month to allow your employees to communicate with each other in a casual environment. Rotate departments, and have one group educate the others about what they do and how they contribute to the overall organization. You will be surprised at how little people in your company know about the nature of others’ work.
Purchase a low-cost license from a skills trainer or author you like to pre-recorded webinars, MP3s, and eBooks. You can project their training videos on the screen in a conference room for much less than a live seminar with that person. If you find a particularly relevant book, you could host a book club and meet weekly to discuss each chapter and its applicability to your business.
Cross-train employees by shadowing others in different departments. Not only will they learn about the different aspects of your business, they will have a better understand how all pieces of the organization are interconnected. This heightened awareness will allow them to see opportunities for better synergy and greater efficiency.
Assign new and high-potential employees a mentor from within the company, who can train them from start to end. Once they are adept at one role, rotate or promote them to another department and change their mentor. This way, they will learn more and more about the company, and you’ll build your next generation of talent.
Invest in skills training your employees might need in the future. Why would you invest money training people for something they don’t need and may never use? Because strong leaders look at the current skill sets of their team members and consider their future needs months or years down the road. They recognize when they don’t have the right people on board to meet upcoming strategic needs. But maybe they have the right people with the wrong skill sets, so they need to train them up now to be prepared when that time arrives.
By implementing these seven tactics, you’ll have a more knowledgeable, skilled workforce, and you won’t have to spend thousands of dollars doing it. Don’t miss out on your long-term growth opportunities because of short-sighted training cuts! Get creative and keep building your bench strength.
© 2014 Laura Stack. Laura Stack is America’s Premier Expert in Productivity™. For over 20 years, her talks and books have helped leaders, teams, and professionals improve output, execute efficiently, and save time at work. Her company, The Productivity Pro, Inc., provides workshops around the globe on productivity, potential, and performance. She’s the bestselling author of six books from major publishers, most recently, Execution IS the Strategy. To invite Laura to speak at your next event or subscribe to her weekly productivity bulletin, visit www.TheProductivityPro.com. Connect at www.linkedin.com/in/laurastack.