Employee training is essential for businesses of all sizes. For the employer, it can ensure that employees receive the right skills with the employee training that enables them to complete the tasks in their individual roles. For the employee, it can provide motivation in that they are learning something of value, employee training will increase loyalty to the business, and various employee training programs will help them to feel more engaged in their work.
Before getting started with employee training programs, it is necessary to find the learning gap that represents the skills that are missing and the skills that are required. This can be achieved by conducting surveys, which can be coordinated with human resources. For small businesses, the areas of education that are commonly required include the following:
In a world where computing systems are used in every industry and field, IT training is one topic that cannot be avoided. Employees that are not even in IT roles will most probably require at least one level of technical training in order to complete their tasks. This employee training could help to understand the background and everyday workings of the cloud computing systems that the company uses. It could also be related to the process automation technology that the company uses and the related protocols. With new technologies developing by the day, it is a challenge for businesses to keep up with the new skills required.
For small businesses that don’t have the funding to employ an accountant, but would prefer to keep their financial records in the house, training programs in financial management will be required. With many new digital solutions for accounting, tax management, billing and invoicing, payroll, and more, the more time-consuming and laborious tasks can be removed, making the job easier. This means much of the workload that calls for accounting skills can be sidestepped, as familiarity with financial solutions is more of a priority.
With a greater emphasis on data privacy in the digital age, there are new data privacy regulations being enacted by governments. Chief among these is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which applies to all EU citizens and any organization that processes their data. This and other data laws affect all businesses that deal with the data of customers, and failing to follow the strict guidelines can result in hefty fines. The EU has already proved to businesses that it is ready to impose the penalties in all cases, so meeting compliance is crucial.
While hard skills are the ones that we often identify as being more quantifiable, and therefore more useful, soft skills are the ones that can really make the difference. These are the human skills that include communication, conflict resolution, problem-solving, ethics, emotional intelligence, and team management. Hard skills are essential in the completion of certain tasks, but without adequate interpersonal skills, it can be difficult to apply them in the most productive way. These skills can come more naturally to some, but they can also be learned consciously.
Products and services are at the heart of every business, so product and service training is important to make sure all employees are able to perform at their best. Especially in the cases that employees are interacting with customers or clients, they need to be able to demonstrate full knowledge of everything the business provides. Training will be necessary when new members join the team or when new products or services are introduced. This kind of training is more specific, and each individual business may need to take more control in organizing the course content.
Cybercrime is still on the rise, even in the face of a global pandemic. This is not merely a concern for large corporations, as 65,000 attempted cyber attacks target small businesses in the UK every day. A surprisingly high proportion of data breaches are caused by an insider threat, though in many cases this is unintentional. This fact highlights that in a significant number of businesses, education in cybersecurity is not sufficient. Training in cybersecurity does not only need to be provided, but it must also be given on an ongoing basis.
A larger proportion of business fields are increasingly competitive, which has put a greater focus on the customer experience. This trend is exacerbated by the widespread adoption of Customer Relation Management (CRM) systems, which provide customer-related data that businesses can build their marketing and other similar strategies around. Customers have come to expect a higher level of customer service, so companies that fail to provide this may lose out to their competitors. Where customer service is given, only the best service will be acceptable. This means the staff that interacts with customers must receive training in customer service, as well as the unique core values of the particular business.
Most governments around the world require staff to be trained in emergency aid, and essential medical supplies to be kept at businesses. In the UK, this is under the Health and Safety Regulations of 1981. It is also common sense that businesses prepare for medical emergencies when there are employees, clients, or customers at the workplace. Staff must be trained in emergency aid so that there is at least one first aider on-site at all times. Training in dealing with emergencies is a useful skill but also a minimum requirement.
It is sometimes a challenge to find the time and resources for training, but in many areas, this can be critical to the success of a business. There are also many types of training that will be highly beneficial to a business. However, while it may seem as if each of these training areas is important – and they are – it is equally necessary to select the training programs that are most essential to business operations or those with the biggest possible impact.