Like anything else in the world, small businesses are only as strong as their weakest link.
The importance of team training is often not recognised and unfortunately, the budget for training is usually the first thing cut in tough times.
Employers also harbour concern that investing employee time in training may cause delays in project development and create deadline lapses.
However, solid team training can address weaknesses, improve consistency and employee performance as well as boost employee satisfaction.
Luckily, there are ways to invest in team training without relying on an inflated budget and without a major time investment.
Start by joining trade groups and associations. With an investment in annual membership fees you have access to seminars, training events and online resources to assist you.
Look internally to find strong leaders who can assist as in-house trainers. Send them to seminars, classes and workshops and have them share their knowledge with the team.
Put together casual forums where employees are encouraged to share some expertise with a group from different divisions – sales with support perhaps. Sharing knowledge encourages cross training, which amps up employee value and keeps people engaged.
Create a mentorship program, partnering veterans with newer employees, encouraging a partnership that will organically foster training and development.
Utilise online training resources which are often available at little or no cost. The plethora of content on the web can promote learning at different levels and allows the employee to move at their own pace.
Our own free business coaching webinars are a case in point!
If you need to call in the professionals, try to be as cost effective as possible, as off-site training requires a lot of commitment. Consider bringing the trainer on-site to offer more specialised training.
Businesses who invest in training enjoy higher employee retention, improved recruitment and better output in the long run.