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How to Create Low Budget, High Impact Training


The U.S. economy is more or less at full employment, which means that businesses now have to value training and developing the workers they have more than ever. Large corporations are throwing more money and resources into their training budget, leaving smaller businesses wondering how they can keep up and develop their employees.

But workplace training is not that different from education in the classroom, and in both cases where you spend money is much more important than how much is spent. Whether your business is looking to keep training costs or only has the resources to train on the cheap, there are always approaches to get the most development possible out of every dollar.

Listen to Workers

Why do you need to train your workers? Many businesses fail at this first and fundamental step. They understand that training is important, but never consider asking workers what skills they think should be improved on. The result is that the worker goes to training which he considers a waste of time, and not even the best training coaches in the world can teach someone who has no desire to learn.

Management thus needs to seriously communicate with workers and listen to their professional goals, their struggles in the workplace, and their relationship with other workers. Then they can craft a training program which is suitable for your workers’ needs and which they have a true incentive to pay attention to.

Listening is one of the most important qualities a leader can have in general, precisely because so few leaders have it. The Harvard Business Review has an excellent guide on how to create an environment conducive to listening, and it will prevent you from wasting training funds on a program which will not help them.

Empower and Delegate

How did you learn to do your first real job? You may have sat in a training course for an hour or even a day which taught you the basics, but you learned to do your job by doing your job. Sometimes you made mistakes, but those mistakes helped you learn and become a true professional.

Empowering workers and giving them additional responsibilities helps them improve in their jobs. It costs you no money at all and in fact frees yourself up to handle more important tasks or catch a break. And delegation is just as important to being a good leader and building a successful business as listening.

It should be noted that if you want your workers to succeed, you need to make it so that they can come to you if they are unsure about what to do. You want your workers to embrace responsibility, not shrink from it out of fear of failure. Keep an open door policy which lets workers come in with questions. The Muse also points out that by keeping an open door, you can have a better view of your workers and make them feel as if you are all part of a team.

Keep Employees Close Together

A recent article in The Atlantic observed that when call center employees spent more time in the break room, they would start swapping tricks of the trade. It is hardly surprising. Veteran employees love showing off their knowledge, and younger employees want to grab those nuggets of information to do their jobs better.

If you can keep workers close together by organizing a home desk and communicating, you can have them essentially train themselves. Organize that process by taking your newer employees to important meetings or consider hosting brown bag lunches in the workplace. Have a lunch devoted to a particular work topic and ask veterans for their insight. When the meeting or lunch is over, ask your newer employees what they learned and remembered.

Create Learning Opportunities with Technology

Meetings can be a great way for new workers to learn from veterans, but veterans can be wrong. And even when they are right, they can generally impart their wisdom to a few workers at a time.

 But with technology, companies can build learning blocks where management and veteran employees can share their wisdom with everyone. Many businesses have a company manual or regulations which employees can access on the company website. Take that a step further, and set up a FAQ, blogs, and other things online with guides on how to handle various situations. Talk with veteran employees about what they have experienced, and create a database for anyone to access.

Remember that training is a means to educating employees about how to do things properly and help the company. If you can provide that education through meetings and technology and give new employees the chance to learn, you can thus educate or train your employees at a fraction of the cost. But this requires an open, equitable culture which encourages learning.

One Response

  1. Nice article, AlexK. The
    Nice article, AlexK. The trainees should be given an environment like actual job workers during training. In this way, they will be getting to know the challenges and their solutions.

    Neha Gupta
    Outsource to India

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