Provide Training and Development

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"47 percent of people actively looking for new positions say company culture is the main reason" --

Does this make you wonder if you might have some work to do around your office?

A couple of weeks ago, we started a series about simple strategies to improve your work culture.  I’m going to share some of my experiences with the companies who are finding success in creating a great culture. 
#1 – Providing Feedback
If you missed it, check out the link HERE

#2 – Providing a Flexible Work Environment
If you missed it, check out the link HERE

#3 – Provide “Better-Than-Market” Total Compensation 
If you missed it, check out the link HERE

#4 – Provide Training and Development 

“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave, is NOT training them and having them stay.” –Henry Ford 

Employing a team of well-trained employees is crucial to the success of businesses, regardless of size. Large corporations often budget substantial dollars for this expense. But what about you as a small business owner without comparable financial resources to devote to training and development?

Good News! The inability to match the training budget of a larger company does NOT mean you don’t have any good options for developing a culture of learning. With a bit of resourcefulness and innovation, implementing cost effective training solutions is not as daunting a task as you may imagine.

You may be thinking, “I hear you, but my plate is already full juggling all that’s required to keep my business running efficiently. Is it REALLY important for me to devote time and resources to this?”

The answer  “YES! It is important!" Here are a few reasons why:

Employees want to feel that you are INVESTING in them – We know that employees who feel that their employer is helping them develop will tend to stay at that company longer. Employees who receive ongoing opportunities for development perceive that as a show of commitment and loyalty from the employer – so then they tend to commit longer and be “all in” as well.

  • Happier, more engaged staff – Happy employees create more positive experiences for customers, which impacts client retention, repeat business, and the bottom line.

  • Lower Turnover – An engaged work force that feels well trained and sees themselves as co-partners in the company’s success is more likely to stay long term, thus minimizing employee turnover and its associated costs.

  • Increased Productivity – Even resourceful employees willing to figure things out on their own perform less efficiently absent proper training. Employees with a strong grounding in the skills and knowledge essential to their job performance, execute more efficiently which can measurably increase productivity.

  • Uniformity and Consistency – If one of your aims is for customers to enjoy a uniform experience regardless of which employee services their needs, good training is an effective tool to ensure that all employees are on the same page.

Now that you know WHY training is important, let’s look at HOW it can be economically implemented.

  • Learn, then Teach – If your budget doesn’t accommodate the cost of having your entire team receive professional training on a topic, a prudent cost saving option is designating one effective communicator to learn a new skill or technique and then train their peers with the newly acquired knowledge.

  • Online Training – There are online training resources to address a variety of business learning needs ranging from the highly technical to soft skills. Options run the gamut from brief online tutorials to full blown video courses.

Links to a few good options are found below:

  • LinkedIn Learning

  • Leadership development and self awareness from Giant Worldwide

  • Creative Live

  • Udemy

  • Coursera

  • Industry Associations - As part of their member benefits, many trade groups and professional associations offer training and certification options via seminars, webinars, and online courses. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the Project Management Institute are two of many examples. If there’s an association applicable to your industry, it could be an invaluable resource in this regard

  • Lunch and Learn Sessions – Coordinating “one-to-many” training over lunch is an excellent way to concurrently build team cohesion and train on a relevant work topic. It’s also an opportunity to share industry news or raise awareness about trends that impact the business.

As these examples illustrate, a workable, cost-effective employee training solution is readily attainable, regardless of an organization’s size.

Take some time this month to determine what training is needed for your different team members – even if you are swamped. Then ask one of your staff to investigate possible options and sources for those needs. I might even be able to help with some of your management or “soft skills” concerns. I lead sessions on Myers Briggs 16 Personalities, which is a tool that can help your employees better understand each other and work together more effectively. I have also done sessions on conflict resolution and conducting effective performance reviews. Whatever your staff’s needs, there are affordable options out there that could make a world of difference to your team.