Training employees is hard for any business owner, but small business owners have a unique struggle due to limited time and resources. If you only have a couple of employees, it is difficult to cover their work while they are being trained. Another issue is finding ways to pay for formal training such as courses and seminars, whether they take place in-house, online, or away in a conference or seminar setting. No one would argue however, that despite the struggles, finding a way to train employees is vital to success. However training occurs, Tryon Edwards offers an excellent piece of advice:
“To waken interest and kindle enthusiasm is the sure way to teach easily and successfully.” –Tryon Edwards
Basically, the thing to remember is that if you make their work interesting and exciting for them, employees will want to learn and be much better able to learn. Following are some common ways to train and tips to help small businesses overcome the common issues that are attached to each one.
Hands On Training
This is the default training method for most small businesses. It sometimes feels like the only option, especially when you hire a new employee because you need them right now. Working beside them for a while and teaching them how to do the job while they are actually doing it has its advantages, one being that you do not have to wait for training to be completed to have them working. This method can lead to some details being missed however. It lends itself to the “just enough to get the job done” mentality, and while the job may get done, when training is over certain holes in training may show up over time. This could be due to lack of proper training time, the trainer feeling rushed, or any number of other things. A good way to avoid too many gaps is to have a handbook printed for new employees to read on their own time.
Formal In-House Training
This is a great way to get some formal training in for employees without paying travel costs. The major drawbacks include finding time and finding a trainer. If the business owner can conduct the training, then that issue is takes care of itself. However, generally it is best for all employees to attend at once, meaning the business has to be closed for the training or the training has to take place during a time when the business is already closed. This means extra time and extra pay for employees. The only way to do this is really to just bite the bullet and pay them to stay late or come in during off hours to get the training done.
This is a great way to get some additional training in, and it can be done virtually anytime and anywhere. While the courses do come with a price, the price can be well worth it for the training received. Most of them have a quiz that can be taken at the end of the slide show or video so that you can be certain they watched or read and retained what they were supposed to. Business owners can log in and see how long each employee spent on training and how they did on the quiz so that appropriate time can be paid. Be prepared to offer a computer and time to use it for employees that do not otherwise have computer access.
Sending employees to a conference or seminar is another great way to further their knowledge and equip them to do their job better. The main obstacles with this type of training are not having them at work and paying for travel expenses. This can be staggered where one or two employees go at a time, allowing for their work to be covered by other employees. If you choose the right training for the right employees, the benefits can far outweigh the cost in the long run. Be certain to only send those that are enthusiastic about learning and willing to go. If they are less than excited they will not likely learn much and the money will just be wasted.
If funding for training is a problem, consider some type of small business loan product. Sites such as Biz2Credit.com connect small business borrowers with lenders such as banks, credit unions, and other alternative lenders that may offer products that could help. A small business line of credit could come in handy for training expenses. However it is handled, remember to get them interested and excited. Then they will be prepared to learn.
This article was submitted by Faith Stewart. Faith Stewart has a BBA with a major in accounting and spent 10 years working in the various aspects of accounting and finance before pursuing her passion for writing.