Growing Your Small Business with Effective Employee Training
As your small business continues to grow, there's only so much you can do on your own. At some point, you'll have to rely on other people to help you get the job done.
It may seem daunting, but hiring and training new employees doesn't have to be complicated. To help you get started, we've simplified the process so you can start investing in the success of your employees and your business today.
Training Is A Long-Term Investment
Before you get started, it's essential to recognize that training isn't just another business expense. It's an investment. Therefore the amount of time and money you put into the process is worth every penny.
Data shows that employee training can lead to greater retention, more empowerment, and better engagement, as outlined in this piece from Ottawa University, Don't let any upfront expenses scare you from investing in a comprehensive training program.
Create A Plan
To ensure that your employees (and you) get the most out of training, you should first determine the goal or objective.
You can start small by creating a need-to-know list of all the skills and information your employees require to succeed in their respective roles. Once you've completed this list, take a moment to ask yourself, "How will this training benefit my business in the present and future?"
Doing so will help you clarify the most critical elements of your training program.
Find The Right Space
Now that you've identified what your employees need to know, you can think about where they should learn the material. While it may not seem like an important detail, this decision matters.
Find a space conducive to learning – preferably somewhere quiet with room enough for all the people and materials involved in the training process. You'll guarantee that the time and money you've invested in educating your employees aren't falling on deaf ears by blocking out day-to-day distractions.
Consider bringing a computer and a projector into the space if you have the resources. By adding visual elements to your training program, you'll further ingrain the information within your employees.
Choose Quality Trainers...
Choosing the right people to lead your training program is crucial. In a perfect world, you might see yourself leading every session, but you might not have the time as a small business owner.
You may not even be the expert on all of the nitty-gritty details involved in every employee's job. If you have existing employees, now's the time to let their expertise shine.
You'll know who your most competent and experienced employees are. They might be managers or shift leaders, or simply the most hardworking and trusted individuals. Allowing them to share their on-the-job knowledge with others will benefit everyone involved.
…And Quality Materials
Your trainers are only as good as the tools at their disposal. Depending on the skills and information you're looking to provide to your employees, these materials may vary.
To keep your employees' attention during training, consider bulking up your manuals and other support materials with visual elements, such as diagrams, instructional drawings, or similar items. You might even consider using job training apps and interactive programs online.
Find affordable or free training for universally used skills online. Remember to access YouTube videos or search online for training opportunities. Trade professions, such as plumbing, heating and air conditioning, and auto mechanics, often have tutorial videos and chat rooms employees can access to learn.
These physical and digital resources will have a shelf life long after the training session is over, and your employees will be able to reference this material as often as needed.
Make Training a Regular Process
Don't limit training to new hires or think of it as a one-time process. Developing training programs for new employees benefits existing employees, too.
As your small business grows and adapts, your employees will need to freshen up their skills or learn new ones. You may decide to revisit training with your employees annually or monthly or schedule sessions as needed when you identify training gaps.
And finally, make sure to measure the results of your training. The metric you use to determine these results will vary from business to business, but identifying a return on investment (or lack thereof) is critical to improving your training process and growing a successful small business.