Through the pandemic, small business owners have faced many challenges. One key lesson learned during these difficulties is the importance of retaining talented team members. These workers are critical to the success of their operations, especially since turnover costs can be expensive. One key way to keep top workers is to provide the educational opportunities they want. Review six tips for training success.1. Know what employees want
Many employees feel that they’re stuck in their careers. Due to the pandemic, they’ve had few opportunities to expand their skills and grow professionally. They’re ready to move on to a new job when they feel it’s safe. Meanwhile, they’re hanging on. However, employees could be convinced to stay if they received training to learn new skills and options to branch out in their jobs.
Small business owners can step up by providing continuous learning experiences. Start by finding out what employees want. This doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Prepare a simple survey of questions and ask workers to provide feedback and suggestions. If needed, make the survey anonymous so employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas. Prepare a list of training topics and start working on putting learning experiences together.
2. Write clear content
Write the training content and check it to ensure the points are clear and easy to understand. Use short sentences with simple words. Avoid jargon and business terms that may be unclear to the majority of employees. Ask a few employees to review the material and provide feedback on information that is confusing or misleading.
3. Make learning fun
No one wants to review boring educational materials, such as words in different colors or various sizes of letters on a PowerPoint screen. Instead, use online training software to develop interesting learning modules. Find interesting photos (there are many free options), graphs, and videos to liven up the training content. Ask employees for help in designing the training modules. You may even find some employees who want to do voice-overs for the video content. As each module is developed, ask managers and employees to review it to ensure they engage with the content. Review these blogs for more tips:
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4. Define and communicate learning expectations
After you determine the training employees want, make a list of skills and knowledge that your business needed. Combine these two lists, so employee training supports business goals and growth. Outline the objective for employee training and communicate them to employees. When workers see a plan and purpose for training, they’re more likely to get behind it to support their growth and the success of the business.
5. Offer rewards and incentives
Although employees want training experiences, offering rewards and incentives helps them complete the modules. They also encourage workers to continue to participate in training. Keep things simple by recognizing employees for achieving pre-set (and communicated) learning goals. Offer gift cards or entertainment experiences when employees complete a specific number of learning modules. Ask employees who reach training goals to share their experiences, especially how they use the new knowledge or skills they have acquired.
6. Encourage feedback
Every employee will have different reactions to the training modules. Capture their ideas by asking for feedback after each module and look for ways to incorporate it. They may point out missing links in the material presented, text that is difficult to read, videos that aren’t clear (or interesting), or photos that look fuzzy on their screens. Be sure to thank employees for taking the time to participate in the training modules and provide feedback.