8 Helpful Tips for Training Small Business Employees
When you tell your employees it is time for training; you can practically see their groans. Training is typically not everyone’s favorite time, and it can be quite expensive, especially for small businesses.
However, when it comes to small businesses training new employees, putting training processes in place, and having thoroughly trained employees typically leads to higher profits and increased goal completion for companies that are dedicated to them.
Training is an ongoing process. You can’t merely train new hires during onboarding and not at all for the remainder of their career. Proper training requires continual attention throughout your companies operations, but you likely hope will last a very long time.
If you want your small business to succeed and thrive, if you want to improve employee morale and retention, take these training tips into consideration.
Before getting into employee training, you must understand what goal you are trying to achieve and what information you’d like for your employees to learn. Perhaps you want them to learn how to use your time clock software – tailor your plan to meet that need.
1. Create A Plan
Before any employee training is done, you must first determine what it is that you want your employees to learn. If you go into employee training blindly, you will end up wasting everyone’s time with unstructured training and useless information.
You should start by writing out what you want to accomplish and what your employees should learn. What kind of knowledge and skills do they need to have to successfully do their jobs?
You should create your training program so that it starts with the most simple and foundational information. Once this foundational information is retained and understood, then you should lead up to more advanced training. As you move forward, the skills and knowledge learned should build upon previous training.
As you are creating your training plan, it is essential to identify any potential training gaps. If an employee who lacks skills in a particular area, the training provided may go over their head. As an example, an employee might not understand how to use your web-based time clock software if they lack necessary computer skills.
2. Have Regular Training Sessions
It is vital to regularly hold business training sessions for your employees. Frequent training can help your employees maintain essential skills and knowledge. Regular meetings are also a great way to teach them advanced professional development skills and notify them of any potential changes to the information they had previously learned.
To ensure that you don’t disrupt daily operations, you should try to meet with employees based on their shift, department, or you could even send out training by email. You could also post a notice along with a training checklist that employees must complete during their next shift or by the end of a specified date.
To help save on training costs, you can use knowledgeable employees to teach others. They tend to know the information more in-depth and are able to better teach others the essential information.
3. Use Good Employees as Trainers
One of the advantages of being a small business owner is that you only start training a few employees. Then as you begin to become successful, and your business grows, the need for training will tend to increase as well
There is no need to invest in professional trainers when you can use in-house experts to do the job just as well. If you know your employees and their skill sets well, you will find a wealth of talent that can be shared with coworkers. For example, find an employee who has strong communication skills and appoint them as a trainer for that skill.
If possible, you should offer incentives such as bonuses for every training that they lead, so they are more motivated to deliver an excellent presentation.
4. Use Online Training
There are various of types of training that can help your team, such as online training. You will still be responsible for explaining the current and future goals as well as the policies of your company, but you can use online tools to train your people in the fundamentals.
For example, if you use a web-based time clock solution at your place of work, you can easily create videos for your employees on how they should use this software. You can put together information on your time and attendance policy and have a short quiz to ensure that they understand the information.
5. Understand Generational Differences
Your small business may have younger employees who are into taking selfies of their work or playing ping pong on break. You may also have senior employees that prefer to read the news or crack jokes about foreign policy.
A multi-generational workforce offers different ideas and insights that come from a variety of age groups, but having a multi-generational workforce can also lead to gaps in training.
As we previously mentioned, it is crucial to understand any potential training gaps and bridge these gaps in any way possible. You should recognize that some employees will learn differently than others. In such cases, individual training will help smooth out gaps.
6. Cross Train Workers
You may find that you want to teach your employees to do other jobs within your business. For example, you might want to train someone from your HR department how to use your time clock software so they can teach others.
Cross-training may even help employees better do their primary jobs. They learning new skills that they can apply to their daily tasks. And, cross-training allows an employee to know better what to expect from co-workers that are in similar positions.
Cross-training can also greatly benefit your business if you end up having a staffing shortage. For example, if an employee calls in sick but their tasks need to be completed for that day and employee who was cross-trained in that particular position can fill in.
One fundamental aspect of employee training is setting measurable goals. For example, you can ask that they learn how to use your time clock software in one week. Performance reviews are a great time to go over employee goals and come up with ways to determine success.
7. Set Measurable Training Goals
Every aspect of your business requires a plan – from weekly lunch meetings to daily interactions with clients. This means that you must set training goals as well. Every business owner and entrepreneur understands there is no point of having goals if you have no way to measure your progress.
Take the time to meet with your employees and discuss with them the goals you’d like to achieve and then come up with a plan to measure them.
As an example, you might want to use quarterly performance reviews to help identify gaps in training. You can use these reviews to determine where you have succeeded in training and where your training program could use a little extra work.
Performance reviews are also a great way to set goals and track progress. You can ask employees how they are doing, what they are struggling with, and what they would like to learn moving forward. This is also the perfect time to find gaps in their skills and knowledge.
8. Encourage Employees to Learn
Last but certainly not least, it is vital that you encourage your employees to learn continually. The best employee that any small business can find is one who is self-motivated and loves to learn. If you have employees that love to learn, training will be a breeze.
On the other hand, if you have employees who don’t enjoy learning this can make your training sessions very difficult. If you want to have successful training, Begin by encouraging self-motivation and the love of learning.
One of the best ways to encourage learning is by understanding your employee’s interests. If you can understand their interests you can then incorporate them into your training. Doing so will help them pay attention and retain information better.