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Training your people is the smart way to grow

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Training ‘upgrades’ and encouraging personal development for staff once they can adequately complete assigned work may not be a business owner’s top priority. However, if continual improvement of the business is desired, encouraging staff to complete training sessions could be the key to training your business to succeed. Just as your technology needs software updates and upgrades, so too do your staff.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 74 per cent of Australian employees participated in a work-related training course from 2008 to 2009. With education and training opportunities increasingly offered within organisations, up-skilling workers to better your business operations is essential. 

Constant up-skilling

Lionel Lee, CEO of electronics retailer Bing Lee, understands the importance of constant training and credits the success of the business to it.

“That’s paramount for us,” he says. “We have implemented constant training with our sales staff to make sure they hit certain key performance indicators… With the additional training we do with our sales staff, hopefully we get it right most of the time.”

Brian Knight, general manager of sales at Kaplan Professional, a national provider of professional education development services, says that when implementing training strategies, programs need to be suited to your company and industry’ needs and challenging to the participants.

“We’re finding clients demand interesting and challenging personal development days that will help up-skill their staff. Variety is also critical, as clients expect a range of learning resources that will encourage staff to learn and stimulate participation,” says Knight.

“Focus on variation, practicality and quality content so you get the most out of the personal development day,” he continues. “This mixture of offerings keep staff engages, challenged their way of thinking and helped them to learn new skills that could be applied back into their work.”

Tips for maximising training results

  • When outsourcing training (such as attending seminars or inviting guest speakers into the workplace), pay attention to who will be conducting the program. Ensure they are an expert in their field and can relay information in an interesting and instructive way.
  • If a series of training programs are being presented over a certain period of time, define a constant theme, congruous to the values of the business, to maintain consistency and cohesiveness.
  • Ensure training programs are easily applicable to staff’s positions. If the skills learnt can quickly be applied jobs, this will encourage greater information retention.
  • Where possible, present pre-training resources, such as pamphlets or small skill-related assignments so staff have the opportunity to prepare and mull over the content beforehand.
  • Reinforce the purpose of the program throughout so that staff know the benefits of attending and learning the skills involved.
  • Where possible, attend the training program yourself. This will show a sense of solidarity with your staff, as well as allowing you to evaluate its effectiveness (and suggest alternatives for next time).

When it comes to managing people in your business, think of education and learning opportunities as an ongoing process. Remember, an open mind and an eagerness to learn are admirable qualities at any stage of the business. Embrace growth and implement opportunities for training.

So, if you’re looking to work on your business rather than being stuck in it, book in for a complimentary business assessment today with Switzer Business Coaching.

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Monday, July 05, 2010

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