Did you know that four out of five businesses close within the first ten years of operation? One of the main reason is lack of skilled employees. It’s always a challenge to employ the right person.
Training employees on a regular basis is important to ensure staff are skilled enough to keep up with the challenges of the business. Many Small Businesses regard training employees as an expense they can do without.
It not only increases business expenses that are generally not allocated for but also requires staff to be away from their primary job duties. This means assigning someone to take their place whilst they are away. Available resources thus have extra pressure placed on them.
Small Business owners find they have years of experience in their industry and know all the ins and the outs of the position. They believe staff can be trained in-house when required.
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This creates a number of problems for the employee, resulting in:
- Confusion and lack of clarity amongst employees about their roles
- A longer duration of time to get the employee trained to the right level
- Increased occupational health and safety risks for employees and customers
As a result of this, employees stay unskilled for long periods. More importantly though, customer service standards decrease, time is wasted and profits reduce.
So what do we suggest? You should recognise the type of training required for your staff. This may just be a specific skill that a particular employee requires, or your staff may require unaccredited training like customer service skills, time management skills etc.
Training can be provided in a number of ways:
EXTERNAL TRAINING PROVIDERS
Training is provided through professional trainers who have the skill to train in their area of expertise. Time frames are allocated for training sessions and you will know when and how the training will be provided. This gives you time to organise your employees at scheduled times. Training providers provide training to a large number of business across various industries. They understand the common problems businesses face and address the solutions during training.
For example, a trainer with expertise in the automotive industry will be able to address how to improve the quality of service provided. Having provided training in a number of businesses in the automotive industry, the trainer would understand the common problems that a business faces and focus on those specific problems during the training.
Providing training to staff within the business works when it is structured. You can allocate certain quiet times during the week for training and plan the type of training that will be provided. Training must be consistent though, to ensure your staff are being trained in a particular area before moving to another.
If you are allocating two hours per week for a certain type of training, for example customer service, then training in this area should be consistent each week until you are sure that all responsible staff members are appropriately trained before you move to the next area that you want to train.
Training can also be provided through government supported programs for young Australians. These programs are a combination of study and work, where the trainee learns the skills 1-2 days a week at a TAFE/University and gets to work for the remainder of the week. You are expected to let the trainee go to school at the required periods. The government provides subsidies including paying part of the remuneration for the trainee.
Apprenticeship programs ensure that the trainee is formally trained at school and gets appropriate practical work experience at the same time.
Whilst it’s true that as a business owner you have more knowledge about the business than anyone else, providing structured and planned training ensures that employees are appropriately trained and gain the required skills to undertake their role.
Planning and allocating time and resources for training not only up-skills staff members but also increases efficiency and saves your business money.