The Need for Small Business Training
Contrary to what you might think as a business owner, small business training is a critical aspect for small business success. An effective small business training program helps you to attract and retain high-performing employees, which reduces recruitment cost. But more importantly, small business training avoids other even more acute operational, sales and sometimes client losses. Since small business have a relatively small workforce, they are more distressed by the departure of a key person. Furthermore, Small Business Training builds staff loyalty and stimulates creative, proactive thinking.
With proper small business training employees grow professionally, become happier and are more productive. However, Small Businesses Owners usually have a limited training budget and need to find innovative ways to integrate training into everyday work.
Small Business Training Programs
An effective small business training program benefits the employees and Small Business Owners as discussed above. However, the training program need be thoroughly planned and properly implemented. In addition, the small business training program should be aligned with both the employee’s individual development goals and the goals of the small business. An investment in a robust small business training program is an investment in your future as a Small Business Owner.
Here are 8 types of training that Small Business Owners can consider for a small business training program:
- Job Skills Training: Job skills training provides small business employees with targeted training to acquire the relevant skill sets needed to perform their jobs. Job Skills Training is provided to train new hires and employees in new technologies, systems or processes. Job skills training includes a combination of “Soft Skills” and “Hard Skills” as discussed below.
- Soft Skills Training: Soft Skills Training deals with character traits, personal attributes, interpersonal skills and social graces that guide relationships between employees and with customers, vendors and others. The employee “Soft Skills” related to your small-business could include effective communication, problem-solving, creative thinking, critical thinking, work ethic, teamwork, attitude, networking, decision making, positivity, time management, motivation, flexibility, conflict resolution, empathy, listening, delegation, trustworthiness and motivation. Soft Skills Training could also include sexual harassment training and ethics training. Also refer to Workplace Sexual Harassment in blogpost “6 Small Business HR Issues to Address Today”, click here.
- Technical/Technology Training: “Hard Skills” are teachable abilities or skill sets that can be defined and measured. This includes data mining skills, reading skills, mathematical skills and typing speed. Technical Skills are “Hard Skills”. Technical/Technology training is teaching small business employees the proficiencies needed to precisely and methodically perform the technical components of their jobs.
- Professional/Profession Training: Professional Training is special training directed to provide employees with the skills needed to be considered as professionals in their field. Professionals have expertise, experience and trust in their field of expertise; and their competencies meet an established set of profession standards. This normally involves profession certification and/or being a member of a professional body. In general, professional training must be done on an ongoing basis to keep the employee certified, as with a trainer, lawyer, technician, coach, etc.
- Managerial Training: Managerial training focuses on improving an individual’s skills as an effective leader and manager. It deals with “soft skills”, the personal attributes that enable the owner/manager to interact effectively and work harmoniously with employees. These skills include decision making, effective communication, empathy, leadership, listening, critical thinking, delegation, trustworthiness, recognition and motivation. In addition, managerial training also includes “hard skills” which are specifically definable, teachable and measurable abilities. For example, this includes managerial skills such as risk management, strategic planning, contract management, performance management and budgeting.
- Team Training/Building: Team Training develops cohesiveness among team members to enhance their ability to work together successfully as a team. This is done through interactive activities and events designed to build teams, improve communication, develop team strengths and encourage cooperation. During Team Training, small business employees get to know each other and build relationships, making the workplace a more enjoyable place. It is critical for Small Business Owners to build high performance and cohesive teams with high productivity, effective problem solving and decision-making to ensure business profitability.
- Safety Training: Safety Training for new and existing small business employees are aimed to protect them from injuries caused by work-related accidents. You put your employees at a higher risk of workplace injury, illness or even death, if they don’t learn about the safety aspects of their jobs. Safety training also includes basics such as evacuation plans, fire drills, incident reporting procedures, workplace violence procedures, etc. Also refer to Inadequate Workplace Safety in blogpost “6 Small Business HR Issues to Address Today”, click here.
- Quality Training: Quality is conformance to customer’s needs, and both the customer’s and industry’s specifications and standards. Quality control involves the processes and procedures that monitor quality and eliminate defective products/services. Quality control training teaches small business employees how to detect and prevent non-quality products/services. Quality products/services are critical for Small Business Owners to have a positive brand and maintain/expand market share. Quality builds customer loyalty and is essential for long-term revenue and profitability. Manufacturing small businesses can ensure that quality control measures are in line with international best practices by implementing ISO 9001 Standard. More information on ISO (International Organization for Standardization) that develops and publishes international standards is on their website.