By Rieva Lesonsky
When you’re deciding where to spend the money you received from your small business loan in the New Year, don’t forget about employee training. Why training? According to Dale Carnegie Training, companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202 percent. Plus a Salisbury University study showed a direct relationship between positive employee training experiences and their attitudes and proficiencies. In the study, 86.8 percent of employees who had updated training had the most positive attitudes. But how much working capital will training set you back? Here are three affordable options:
- Start by assessing your employees’ current skills and then find out what they are interested in learning. Maybe you can assign a senior staff member with complementary skills to mentor the employee or you can do it yourself. One-on-one mentoring is the best option, but if there’s a topic many of your employees can benefit from, you could hold a workshop once a month.
- Cross-training job duties can help improve and expand employees’ skills, and in a small business it makes sense to have backup in case someone is out sick. In addition, if an employee quits, it’s easy for someone who’s been cross-trained in their skills to fill in without skipping a beat. Cross-training can be problematic when it comes to “sharing” classified information or your business’s finances. Make sure only a few employees have that kind of information and switch passwords often to protect digital data.
- Check out your local college or city parks and recreation programs for classes that could improve your business and your employees’ skills. Have employees look through a class catalog for what interests them or see if the information is available online. And remember, employee education that helps improve job performance is tax deductible.
The bottom line is if you’re investing in the hiring of employees, it makes sense to invest in the training and development of your them as well.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.