Today’s guest post is from freelance blogger Helen Eagleton.
Your employees are one of your most critical assets, and well-trained employees are vital if you want your business to grow and thrive. Unfortunately, businesses often cut back on employee training to make ends meet, and this can have a detrimental impact on your company.
The thing is, insufficient employee training can lead to a reduction in employee engagement and motivation. This could result in higher turnover and decreased profitably. However, by following these tips, you can provide your team with the training they need without blowing your budget.
1. Recognize Knowledge Gaps
The last thing you want to do is to spend money on training that is not critically needed. During annual reviews, focus on the competency and knowledge gaps that each of your employees has. Use this knowledge to determine the hard and soft skills that are most cost-effective and advantageous for you to focus your attention on.
Remember that the training that you provide should also align with your company’s short and long-term goals. For example, if you want the company to improve in the area of customer service within the next year, emphasis may be placed on this goal. You can then set up training modules that are best-suited for your employees and that are in the best interest of the company.
2. Provide In-House Learning
Sending your employees to off-site classes and seminars can be expensive, and it may not be necessary: you can set up in-house seminars and courses at a reduced cost. You may even be able to have some of your existing employees who have a solid understanding of concepts you want to focus on lead the training sessions.
Mentoring your staff members together may also be effective, and it gives your employees who need improvement a focused educational experience. You may even set up a recurring training program and add this responsibility to specific team members’ job responsibilities. Compensating them for their extra efforts may be appropriate in some cases. Remember that this training can extend to team leaders or managers as well.
3. Send Them Out
In-house training is a cost-effective solution to consider, but there may be benefits of sending your team out to industry associations’ conferences and seminars. For example, they may need continuing education for their licenses, or they may need to obtain an industry certification.
If you are a member of some associations, you may qualify for a discount or even receive free admission to courses. To learn about these opportunities, pay attention to association newsletters, and review their websites’ events calendars periodically.
4. Make Use of Modern Ed-Tech
Technological advancements have created affordable educational opportunities that you and your team members can take advantage of. For example, you can enroll your team members in free, blended or paid massive open online courses. These offer a flexible training schedule as well as a casual or structured learning environment.
While these are cost-effective, they also may be convenient for busy staff members to learn from. This is because many of the learning apps and modules are available 24-hours per day, and they can be used at home or at work as desired.
Some e-learning options, such as Moodle, offer free learning management systems that you can use. Another idea is a just-in-time learning module, like Skill Pill. These are short modules or even motivational videos that are focused on a specific relevant topic. Learning apps like Udemy give you and your team a convenient way to instantly access and re-use training materials.
Remember that training and education does not have to be dull and boring. You can easily use various gamification strategies to engage your employees in an educational way. Some common strategies include leaderboards, avatars, badges, levels, challenges and rewards.
Your employees can work on achieving specific goals, and this may inspire competition, engagement and even strategic thinking. Ideally, your team members will receive instant feedback that they can learn from, and this may be through a self-diagnostic aspect of the gaming program.
Training and educating your employees regularly is essential for optimal success, and the good news is that it does not have to be expensive. By customizing your training sessions based on specific needs and by choosing the best educational platform, you can save money while getting your team the consistent and measurable level of education that they need.
BIO: Helen Eagleton, a freelance blogger from Boston, follows topics in the realm of education, technology, digital marketing, and business in general. When she’s not researching for her next article, she enjoys watching documentaries and exploring the nature. Reach her @eagleton_helen