Best Practices for Training Employees in Small Businesses
Just like in large organizations, small businesses also need to ensure their employees are appropriately trained to succeed at their jobs. Not to mention the business’s obligations to stay current with any training requirements mandated by OSHA and other regulatory bodies. Without the big labor pools to cover missed shifts and the larger budgets of a big company, what are the best ways for small businesses and startups to get their employees the training they need while minimizing lost time and keeping costs down?
Small Business Trends offers several tips for employee training, and the number one solution is to use online training programs. Sometimes, those options might even be at no charge. For example, if your organization uses a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application, does that provider offer any webinars or tutorials on how to use the features of the app? Spending 30 minutes listening to a recorded class is less time consuming than traveling to a workshop or taking a weekly course at the local community college, and those vendor-provided training materials might be free and included in the CRM contract.
When a freebie isn’t quite enough, there’s a whole world of online employee training program opportunities out there, the result of a growing market demand as more and more companies see the benefits of this convenient training solution. Some online training providers even specialize in small business programs.
The Small Business Association blog also suggests tips for employee learning, including:
- Join Associations or Trade Groups - Check out your trade association(s) website or newsletter for training opportunities that may be included in your membership.
- Cross-Train Employees in the Workplace - Different jobs in your organization [can be] hands-on training opportunities for others. Give existing employees new roles or responsibilities. Have them shadow someone who is already doing these tasks for a few days, until they are ready to try the new role on their own. Rotate roles frequently so your employees are continuously learning and challenged to achieve new things
- Start a Mentorship Program - Consider partnering new or less experienced employees with mentors. For example, an up-and-coming sales rep might benefit from sitting in on sales planning sessions or attending important off-site customer meetings with a more senior employee.
In addition to fulfilling compliance requirements, training your employees makes good business sense, too. According to an article at Forbes.com, “Small business owners who invest in training are more likely to report growing, and more likely to report growing more. In other words, what is good for employees is good for the business,” and that “‘Hiring and retaining good employees’ closely follows ‘finding and keeping customers’ as the top two challenges reported by small business owners who are committed to growing their businesses.”
So, before you lose a day’s productivity because your team is driving back and forth from yet another seminar at a distant hotel, have a look around online. The topic you need might already have a robust online course.
Set your team and your business up for success with the training solutions from HSI. From emergency care to first responders to workplace safety for companies big and small, let us help you meet your employee training goals and keep your company in compliance.