Training in the military is a constant and never-ending cycle and is, in fact, how the military prepares for its ultimate purpose: the defense of our nation. Training in the civilian world can be just as important for the success of any business.
However, in a bad economy the first thing cut is usually the training program. Most small business and mid-sized companies that may not have the budget or staff to develop a training program may utilize what is commonly known as OJT, or on-the-job training. On-the-job training leaves the employee to his or her own devices with a sink-or-swim approach. Companies that employ this strategy are essentially conceding the fact that they may lose several new hires, continually rolling the dice trying to find that one employee who will survive the rigors of having to train themselves. Lack of training can reduce employee morale, increasing staff turnover, which can itself be costly with the long-term implications outweighing the immediate costs saved.
How can you train your employees without breaking your budget? Here are a few ideas.
- On-line Training.
Most companies employ some form of online training. Online training is a great way for employees to learn at their own pace, selecting from a wide variety of courses at little or even no cost to the organization.
- The Best Employees Make The Best Trainers.
Do you have someone in your organization with strong communication skills and the desire to help others? If so, you may want to approach them and see if they want to become a trainer. It will be well worth the money to have them attend training classes or purchase training materials for them. Have them come back prepared to share what they have learned.
- Cross-Train Employees.
An agile workforce gives a business greater versatility to take on other work demands should the business needs change. Rotate roles or have employees shadow someone who is already doing the job you want them to learn until they are ready to do it on their own.
- Goal Setting.
Measuring your employee’s progress as they advance their careers is a great way to improve their skills and measure their performance. Use annual performance appraisals to measure their progress and identify areas where improvement is needed. Listen to your employees during their evaluations and have them identify their goals and develop a plan on how to achieve them.
A training strategy is designed to achieve an educational goal. Training strategies help deliver focused information and helps morale, adding value for employees by improving their skill sets. Businesses that develop and mentor their junior employees increase their efficiency and help secure their future.