Small business are often resource-strapped. Strapped for time, strapped for talent, strapped for cash. When a business is strapped, its people get scrappy. They live in a world where each employee wears a stack of hats. Each hat becomes both a badge of honor, and a burden to bear.
There is one very big problem with tall hat stacks. Eventually, they fall over.
That's why small businesses cannot afford to go without learning and development. They absolutely must invest in educating and training their people, so that the entire staff can divide and conquer. Otherwise, all of the pressure falls on a few time and energy-strapped people to push the business ahead.
Training and development prevents breakdown, prepares for the future.
Training your people is an investment. It takes time, and it takes money. But as the old adage goes, if you think education is expensive, you should try ignorance.
Training and development has three main steps:
- Clear job descriptions. Your employee should know exactly what he is getting into, and what is expected of him.
- Initial training. Your employee should be given the power to perform his job at the top of his ability.
- Continued training. Education cannot stop after the first few weeks on a job. Your employee needs to be kept in the loop of new information as it becomes available, for as long as he is employed with the company.
Making training a priority and a habit will ensure your people are always prepared to be their best, building a strong foundation of trusted employees ready to spur your company into its future.
Training and development can be automated.
Small businesses should plan to spend resources on building their initial training program, then automating it on a digital platform. When content can be pushed to any device in a matter of seconds, there is no reason to tie up an existing employee's time to train new employees on the basics.
Instead, build courses that start by teaching the building blocks of your company, and working up through the details. Design courses that teach how to use hardware, software, and navigate systems. Design courses around customer service practices and sales policies.
For each job description your company possesses, there should be a defined set of courses that are able to train a new employee to perform that job description. Utilize microlearning techniques, so that you are breaking all of that information up into small pieces. That way, no one suffers from information overload.
When you begin to break down every piece of information an employee needs to know when he or she enters your business, it will likely be overwhelming. But you only have to do this once. Then, you can simply push that same information to all new hires in the future.
Remember, your training should be re-visited and updated regularly. As information changes, your training content will need to follow suit. However, once the building blocks of your program are in place, edits and additions can be made quickly, and delivered to your people fast.
Training and development is affordable.
Once reserved for the large corporations with big budgets, learning management systems are now affordable for the little guys too. Today, capable and intuitive platforms exist on a pay grade that is affordable for small business owners. We're not talking about thousands of dollars up front. We're talking small, monthly subscription fees.
For too long, the idea that great employees can jump in and simply figure things out on the fly, has been romanticized. Untrained employees are easily susceptible to making costly mistakes or causing frustration for customers. Untrained staff suffer from low or slow production because they lack confidence or direction. In the end, they are likely to quit or fail, and will need to be replaced. Now that's what we call expensive.
On the other hand, trained employees gain confidence, move forward faster, increase production, and stay with the company longer. And that's what we call cost savings and a wise investment.
Balancing hats is not for heroes. Balancing hats is for people who are wasting valuable time and money by keeping their employees in the dark. Train your people, share responsibilities, and take your business to the next level.
Ready to see why Zunos is the right learning management system for your small business? Start your free trial!