Startups and small businesses face many challenges and building a productive team is one of these challenges.
As you add to your team or push people to put in another 60 hour plus work week, the temptation arises to send everyone to team-building sessions to keep everyone focused on working together. Or you may send people to generic pep-talks or “release your creativity” sessions that have no real impact on performance.
Let’s look at the training your team really needs.
Advanced Product Quality Planning or APQP training provides an overview of key engineering concepts like statistical process control, failure mode and effects analysis, measurement systems analysis, Production Part Approval Process and translating customer requirements into engineering specifications.
This training is far more valuable than sending everyone to Six Sigma or Lean engineering sessions, because it benefits the organization at every level. Statistical process control helps people understand when something is trending the wrong way on business dashboards, whether it is production data or customer service metrics.
FMEA allows your team to get to the root cause of problems and solve it more quickly, whether it is a production issue or shipping errors. PPAP ensures that you choose the right suppliers for your product and keep your design in sync with your suppliers’ product as the design changes.
This is invaluable whether you’re doing rapid prototyping or making changes to your flagship product. You eliminate the need to bring in outside consultants to solve problems while empowering your team to identify and solve issues as they arise. There are sites such as this website here that outline additional benefits of APQP.
Communication training benefits nearly everyone. Learning
how to draft formal emails and business letters may make the difference in
whether or not you land a contract. Technical experts often need to learn how
to communicate in layman’s terms. Covering basics like giving people a clear
call to action at the end of an email can eliminate a lot of confusion. This is
why effective communication skills training can help nearly everyone.
You could take it one step further by giving presentation training. However, that doesn’t matter if your team can’t create clear documentation related to their projects or emails inviting people to meetings.
In fact, even your sales and marketing personnel might benefit from general communication training, because they’ll be better prepared to effectively exchange information with your engineering team.
Training in the Software Your Company Revolves Around
A surprising number of companies fail to give people training in how to use the software that their company relies upon. For example, tasks might be assigned via Kanban software, but new hires are giving a brief introduction in how to use it. They’d become much more effective if taught how to log tasks, check reports and communicate within the tool or share files within it.
Teach your new and current team members how to correctly use the enterprise requirements planning software or HRIS tools. They’ll make far fewer mistakes IT has to correct and be less frustrated as they try to learn how to do their jobs. A side benefit of giving this type of training is that it improves employee retention; fewer people will leave because they feel like they aren’t being supported.