May 28, 2016

6 Helpful Tips for Training Small Business Employees


employee training

When you tell your employees it’s time for the weekly training meeting, you can almost see their groans. Training is generally not anyone’s favorite hour of the day and it can be expensive, especially for small business startups.

However, when it comes to a small business training new employees, putting training processes in place and creating thoroughly trained employees tends to yield higher profits and increased goal completion for companies that are committed to them.

Training is an ongoing process. It’s kind of like eating. You can’t eat seven times one day and then not at all for the next several months. Proper training requires consistent attention throughout your company’s operations, which you hope will last a very long time.

If you want your small business to succeed, observe these tips for training employees. 

Use Online Training Courses

Online training courses can make this process easier. You’ll still be responsible for explaining current and future company goals and policies, but you can use online programs to instruct your people in many of the other fundamentals.

For example, even if you have an IT department, it’s good for workers to be up to date on IT basics so they can handle minor technical challenges on their own. Companies such as CBT Nuggets offer online courses in IT without much expense or consumption of time.

Use Good Employees as Trainers

One of the perks of owning a small business is that you start with few employees to train. As you begin to be successful, your business grows, and the need for training tends to increase as well.

There’s no need to call professional trainers when you can use in-house experts to do the job. If you mine your company, you’ll find a wealth of talent that can be shared with colleagues.

For example, find a person or two who has strong communication skills. Appoint them as the trainers for that skill, and let them host a monthly seminar on the subject.

If possible, offer incentives, such as a bonus for every training they lead, so they’re motivated to deliver an excellent presentation.

Set Measurable Training Goals

Every facet of your business requires a plan, from your weekly lunch meetings to your interactions with clients. This means setting training goals, and every entrepreneur knows there’s no point in having goals if you include no way to measure your progress.

Take the time to meet with your employees and discuss the the goals you want to achieve. Then come up with a plan to measure them.

For example, you might use quarterly performance reviews to identify gaps in training. This will tell you where you’ve succeeded and where your training could use a little more work.

Recognize Generational Differences

Your small business may has younger employees who are into playing ping-pong on their breaks and taking selfies of their work. Alongside them may be members of an older generation that prefers to read the news on their breaks and crack jokes about foreign policy.

A multigenerational workforce offers different insights and ideas that come from a variety of age groups. But there can also be gaps in training.

It’s important to recognize that some employees will learn in different ways from others. Individual trainings will help to smooth that gap.

Encourage Employees to Learn

The best employee any small business can find is the self-motivated individual who loves to learn. If your workers love to learn, trainings will be a breeze.

On the other hand, employees who don’t love learning can make your training sessions a nightmare. If you want successful trainings, begin by encouraging self-motivation and a love of leaning.

One of the best ways is to identify employee interests. If you incorporate employee interests into your trainings, this will help them pay attention and retain information better.

Attend Seminars

Every field offers training seminars throughout the year to keep companies up to date on the latest trends. If your company is small, you might find that it’s worth taking everyone to at least one of these seminars each year.

In a larger firm, consider sending a small group of trusted individuals to represent your business and report what they learn to the rest of your employees. Though the cost for attending these seminars may seem high, you may soon notice a turnaround based on the high-quality training your employees receive.

Training Photo via Shutterstock

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Drew Hendricks


Drew Hendricks Drew Hendricks is a tech, social media and environmental addict. He writes for many major publications such as National Geographic, Technorati and The Huffington Post.

2 Reactions

  1. Hey, Drew!

    Great post! We reiterate a number of these tips when we talk to small business owners.

    One other important part you forgot to mention was to make sure you align your training with the company’s culture. The more you can personalize training to align with familiar company culture, the better.

    Best!
    -Nick

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