While large enterprises typically have well-established training programs, small business often offer little or no training to employees at all. In reality, whether you’re running a global enterprise with employees scattered around the globe or a mom-and-pop business in your backyard with just a few employees, training matters. The problem is that many small business owners falsely believe they lack the financial resources and time to offer comprehensive training. In fact, with a learning management system, training is not only affordable to even the smallest businesses but also can help small business owners save money and engage in manageable growth over time.
5 Reasons for Small Businesses to Develop an Employee Training Program
Training is good for the bottomline: There’s a substantial body of evidence that supports this claim. In short, dollars invested in training, pay off. The long-term ROI is especially impressive. When Starbucks announced that it was not only going to train its baristas to pull great espresso shots but also partner with higher education institutions to offer college degrees, many onlookers thought the company was crazy, but as the company’s sales around the world continue to prove, its high investment in training and education continue to pay back. While many small businesses only have a half dozen employees rather than thousands, the potential benefits of training are the same. When you train employees and even invest in their futures, the potential return over time is great.
Training increases productivity and decreases liabilities: It’s a no brainer–when employees are comfortable using the latest equipment and programs and when fewer mistakes are made on the job (including fewer compliance errors), productivity goes up too and potential liabilities go down.
Training supports customer service excellence and promotes your brand: Training is critical to customer service and brand loyalty/promotion too.
Training can help identify and leverage in-house talent: When you’re training and tracking your employees’ training, you’re able to monitor their progress and may even discover something new about your employers (e.g., who already holds expertise on a specific program or has a hidden strength or quality). Training, on this level, can also help small business owners better leverage talent that is already in their midst.
Training can help get the most out of your extended network: A surprising but by no means minor upside to training is that it can even help small business owners get the most out of their extended networks. For example, let’s say, you’re in the business of selling safety gear to construction sites, but the construction workers in your region don’t fully appreciate the need for safety equipment because they don’t fully appreciate the risks of not using it. By offering training to your extended network (in this case, clients and potential clients), you benefit too. After all, if your customers and would-be customers understand the true value of your products, your sales are bound to rise in turn.
4 Strategies for Implementing Training in a Small Business
Adopt a learning management system (LMS): First and foremost, it is important for small business owners to consider the value of adopting an LMS. With an affordable and flexible LMS, you can scale up your training quickly and without a huge investment. To get started, consider eLeap’s free no-obligation 30-day trial.
Go mobile: Your employees likely already own smart phones and spend a lot of time on their smart phones. Turn wasted time, including short breaks, into training time by offering training in short modules that can be easily accessed on a smart phone or tablet any time and any place.
Track employee progress: Track your employees’ progress to ensure they are completing training sessions in a timely manner. Use automated notifications to prompt employees to complete required courses.
Evaluate: Evaluate your employees on a regular basis with quizzes and even certification-based exams. As suggested above, use these evaluations to identify who has completed your training courses and to identify untapped talent already on your team.