In almost every business sector, big changes are happening. Pay for lunch simply by flashing your embedded-chip EMV credit card. Order your office supplies using your smartphone. Track each order using the latest in contact management software (CMS). It’s all happening…all of the time!
The knowledge your business team picked up at university may already be out of date. If it’s digital, it may be really out-of-date. But keep your employees current on the latest strategies, tools, best practices, lead generation, and other business activities for less.
Here are some tips to train the team for tip-top performance.
- Send employees to trade shows, conventions, seminars, and other low-cost, high-return industry get-togethers. Send the right employees and make sure attendees understand this is a learning opportunity, not a paid vacation on the company.
If training seminars are offered, sign up the right employee for the right information. Take notes and share with other members of your staff. These industry get-togethers are usually sponsored by businesses within the industry, saving your small start-up a big pile of cash on employee training.
- Look for in-house trainers across the hall or down on the factory floor. Hire well and your employees know their jobs. They can also train others in the job’s basics, keeping training costs down. As an added benefit, the trainer is going to show the new hire how your company does it.
When hiring new employees, don’t go by the number of degrees each candidate holds. Go by how much insider knowledge they have and how they can share that knowledge with the other members of your staff.
- Bring in lunch. Once a month, bring in a guest speaker and treat the staff to lunch for taking the time to learn something new. Many of your company stakeholders offer free seminars. For example, ask your company insurer to provide a safety speaker while you provide the pizza.
Vendors, community business groups, service organizations, and even the government will send a speaker free to train your staff in everything from safety to physical fitness.
It’s free information and every small business needs reputable, free information.
- Use the Internet. There are lots of online courses available. If the course costs, pay for your employee to learn something that’ll benefit the company for years to come.
Invest in employee training and see remarkable ROI. Quickly.
- Cross-train employees. Train employees to step in when needed even when the work falls outside the job description parameters. This avoids bringing in low-productivity temps, maintains levels of service quality, and saves your company money working with employees you already know and trust.
- Use job shadowing. Have new hires shadow experienced workers to get those under-performing new hires up to speed. In upper levels of management, start a mentorship program to train the next generation of c-suite executives – the men and women who will grow the business 20 years from now.
- Set objectives and use metrics to measure training success. Numbers don’t lie. A written report by a trainer can be tainted with bias. (Of course your team is ready; my team trained them!) Ask outside trainers for reasonable performance expectations to measure just how successful that outside training company is.
You don’t need to send key employees back to school. They need to learn the specifics of their jobs now, not classroom generalities. So, you want to boost productivity without busting the bank?
Use existing in-house resources and free resources provided by the government, vendors, insurers, and other businesses that hold a stake in your company’s success.
A smart staff is smart business.