To attract and retain the best team of employees, professional development training must be more than a fringe benefit. Both salaried and hourly employees are seeking to work for the businesses who invest in their team. It is a prerequisite for attracting those top-performers.
Make employee training an ongoing process built into your business growth strategy. As new employees become acclimated to working in your company, they continue developing their skills and grow into larger roles. There are many reasons to provide professional development opportunities to employees that directly benefit your medium or small business.
Expectations of entry-level employees have increased significantly over the past 10-15 years. Employers large and small have published job postings for entry-level positions, but requiring candidates to have 2-3 years of experience. This deters many young people from even applying for those roles. There are some candidates who are highly confident, but they are also lacking those skills and so they are “faking it until they make it.”
Small business owners and executive leadership complain about the skills gap and how difficult it is to find the right “talent” for their open positions. Meanwhile, those same business owners are not investing time or money into appropriate training or professional development experiences for staff members. A growing number of large corporations have invested in employee training as a retention and recruitment tool, while many medium and small business owners have simply churned through the unskilled staff. Why hasn’t small business caught on yet? Why not make time to properly onboard and train employees?
Knowing that professional development training is among the highest priorities of top-performing job seekers, how can you adjust your hiring and retention plan for your small business? Your team (and prospective team) is literally hungry to learn and grow and contribute more to improving your company. All they ask for is support in gaining more knowledge.
These are just a few of the ways that ongoing training programs benefit a business:
In-House Training and Development
The most familiar form of training is in-house workshops. This is where a group of employees gathers in the office for a specific training program by an instructor. These kinds of training sessions are often led by high-level employees or outside specialists. This works well if you have a team that is all learning the same topic or system. Examples of these programs are software-specific training (like the Zoho Suite) and company-wide concepts (such as Branding).
Public Conferences, Workshops, and Seminars
As it is with many professions, there are public conferences and educational events available for continued growth. This is a common training option for employers to choose from. These training programs often encourage and enlighten staff in narrowly focused areas based upon their expertise. This can be effective for some employees. It is also limited to the publicly available training events available in those particular industries and specialties.
From free training videos online to paid interactive experiences with experts, the options available through online learning expand every day. Free online courses are appealing, but the old saying comes to mind: “You get what you pay for.” There is more challenge in identifying high-quality courses among the free options. It seems the best approach for finding the right online course or training is by starting with a trusted resource, such as an expert in the specific industry or topic.