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3 Employee Training Tips for Startups & Small Businesses

A study published by Glassdoor found that close to 46 percent of millennial employees quit their last job because of a lack of career growth. The report further noted that increasing employee engagement investments by just 10 percent is sufficient to increase company profits by as much as $2400 per employee per year.

When it comes to small business hiring, factors such as career growth and engagement can play a vital role in employee retention. This is because many such businesses may not afford to pay top bucks. Keeping the quality of work high is the only way to keep employees going. This is not possible without a focused training approach that helps your employees understand their role in the larger context of the business and enables them to take the lead in innovation and execution.

Here are a few tips to help your small business achieve that.

1- Continuous Training

Training your employees can cost money and time. Although business owners do invest in onboarding sessions to improve the productivity of a new employees, this does not directly contribute towards their retention. Studies show that an overwhelming 86 percent of newly hired employees quit within the first six months without clear goals and access to key tools, technologies, and business resources.

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To ensure higher retention, business owners need to invest in continuous training. This is the process of identifying gaps in employee performance and skills and providing them with all the tools to make themselves better. Such continuous training sessions not only make your employees more productive but also translate into better job satisfaction and loyalty. Let’s say for example you find that several employees feel they struggle with using Excel functions effectively, this is a clear area where improvements can be made to productivity, and employees could benefit in this situation greatly from being enrolled in an instructor-led classroom course. The training and skills gained can then allow them to unlock their full potential and improve their productivity, which will likely improve how they feel about work in general.

2- Personalized Training

 Each employee is unique. Your employee training program should personalize sessions based on what your employee needs and stands to benefit from. However, small businesses do not have the bandwidth to undertake exhaustive skillset assessment sessions to build such a personalized training program.

What you could however do is invest in learning management systems that can help you execute personalized training programs. You could, for instance, create simple surveys to assess the skill gaps in each of your employees and direct them to niche training programs depending on the assessment results. For instance, if your assessment reveals that your SDR does not possess the desired deal-closing skills, you may direct them to a course that focuses on only this aspect.

Small businesses that cannot afford to invest in producing such niche courses could also license them from professional content creators on content marketplaces.

3- Training On The Job

In addition to personalized training sessions, it is highly recommended that business owners create on-the-job training sessions for their employees. The benefits here are two-fold. Firstly, such a strategy enables an employee to put their learned skills to the test in a ‘training’ environment. The ROI from such a strategy can be immensely high. More importantly, small businesses that do not enjoy a lot of resource bandwidth may find protracted theoretical training programs costly for business. On-the-job training helps such businesses improve employee skills without compromising their productive hours.

The success of such a strategy depends on execution. Ideally, your employee must be allowed to ‘shadow’ one of their senior resources during the training period. This allows them to observe and absorb the skills before they can put them to use. This way, your business can avoid costly mistakes employees commit in their training period and still ensure high-quality training.

These are just a handful of tips as far as employee training is concerned. However, it is important to remember that the ultimate validation of your training methods lies in how they improve employee productivity and loyalty over the long term. It is thus critical to monitor employee satisfaction and retention continuously to see what training methods work and tweak them to achieve the desired objectives.

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