04 Aug The Big Differentiator, Training!
When the subject of training is discussed with small companies and startups, far too often it doesn’t get beyond the discussion phase. Training should be the cornerstone of any company’s long-term survival program. If you visit Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Cisco Systems, Intel, etc., training takes priority in these companies.
The world of technology moves so quickly your skill sets can become obsolete just as fast! As new computer programming languages are developed, programmers need to keep up with them. I can remember people who knew the C programming language several years ago and would not invest the time to learn C+. Over time, most of them found themselves without a paycheck. This closed mindset starts with employees and can travel up the corporate food chain.
So training should be “preached and practiced” from the CEO’s office down. What benefits can your company or organization expect to derive from having your employees thoroughly trained in their various skill sets? There are five major benefits to a good training program:
* Building better communications skills
* Developing hidden talent
* Providing greater focus for employees
* Ensuring consistent quality
* Producing more effective/productive efforts
In the beginning, a small company should use outside professionals for training employees – at least the first time. Choosing the right professional can be difficult and requires a thorough systematic review. What are some of the things to consider when hiring a training firm?
* Evaluate their training experience thoroughly by talking with previous clients and having your training manager spend more than one meeting with the prospective training company.
* Sit in on a training session at another company if you can.
* Verify that they can withstand attack from a hostile employee, without attacking back. This may sound somewhat strange but remember not all employees embrace the concept of training.
* Confirm that they can provide an interactive program.
* And most importantly, check all references thoroughly, and the list should include at least three companies. It takes time to do this, but it’s time well spent!
For long-term training needs, develop training templates for the various job functions for your company or organization and have them on interactive systems. There are three important reasons for this:
1. People learn at different rates.
2. It allows them to retry with an interactive system until they get it right and feel comfortable with the training.
3. It eliminates costly duplication of training efforts.
Lastly, remember good training systems should constantly be updated as events in your company change. None of this is cast in concrete, and good training programs work because the content makes sense to the people taking the training.