Maximum Learning – Minimum Investment
How Small Business Can Maximize Training Resources
Fact: Small and medium-sized businesses are forced to operate differently than large businesses due to more limited resources.
Fiction: There is a direct correlation between the amount of those limited resources and the quality of service small and medium-sized businesses are forced to deliver.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often need to be creative, innovative and just plain smart when it comes to using resources – especially when it comes to staff training. While the reasons for requiring skill development are usually the same regardless of a business’ size, how those needs are filled can vary greatly. Whereas large businesses can afford to have their own internal training departments, SME’s often rely on external providers such as school board continuing education departments, association professional development events or private training companies.
There is a reason why large businesses have in-house departments dedicated to performance improvement; staff training requires time, money, customized training content and enough employees to make such a department justifiable.
The fact is, SMEs can be wise when devoting resources to staff training, and even take advantage of their sizes. Here are the Top 5 Ways for SMEs to Maximize Training Resources.
1. Implement and promote a program where senior employees can tutor new employees, thereby eliminating knowledge gaps within your business.
2. Pay for your employees’ membership fees in associations. These organizations often host professional development seminars for their members at very reasonable prices.
3. If you feel your employees need training to improve their performance ask them what they feel they need. This ensures that the training you provide will be as effective as possible.
4. Send an employee to learning opportunities, such as conferences, tradeshows or public courses. The employee can then act as an in-house trainer.
5. Budget for training by setting aside a set amount of money that will be used for training when needed – just like saving up for your first car.
If you feel your employees would be better served by a private training company, do your research. Find an organization that will customize its material for your needs and deliver the training at your office when you need it. The training company should also understand the needs of an SME, so ask for references from companies that are similar to yours.
Fact: If SMEs treat their size as a weakness, it will be a weakness. If SMEs treat their size as a strength and use their resources wisely, they can compete with competitors of all sizes.
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