Is it really worth training collaborators?
« Huh », « there are other priorities », « we don’t have the required funding ». When you speak about the possibility of granting trainings to your collaborators (after Vicky’s request for a Microsoft Office training, as she isn’t able to convert a Word document into PDF), your boss comes up with many excuses to end the topic. He’ll always find a good reason to explain to you, that there are other more important issues. However, the training of your collaborators should be considered as something essential: not only does it allow the skills of your dear colleagues to remain up to date, but it also helps boost productivity and happiness at work.
Moreover, when a company is willing to put in a few bucks to train a collaborator, it means retaining a client who’ll potentially stay for a long time. Loyalty is important, so it’s better investing a little on the training to save on the recruitment, right? The return on investment of training a collaborator can be huge. Here’s how you should go about it.
Identify the needs
Your company, with your help as the Office Manager, should be able to identify the sector where a training wouldn’t hurt. This could be training on tools, like with Vicky’s example who is having a hard time with Microsoft Office as seen previously, on managing skills or even soft skills, like self-confidence or speaking in public. The important aspect being that the trainings should be targeted depending on the different collaborators: there is no need for Celeste, 22 years old, who is born with a smartphone in her hand, attends a training on social networks, where one explains how to share a photo to her.
Learn from the mistakes in the company
Your company has just had 30% of its market share gobbled up by a new competitor, who entered the market 6 months ago. Where did you fail? What did the competitor do better than you? The mistakes in your company can point out where it may be useful to establish a training.
Training needs to be regular and not just a one-shot
If your boss finally gives in, about implementing training and asks you for advice on the way of implementing all this, explain to the latter that the training needs to be organized in a regular manner rather than just one-shot, with a big session of training, once every 6 months. The ideal is to do a little training session every 15 days. Because yes, nobody likes to spend an entire day listening to a guy talk and the participants may not be attentive to the training, after 2 hours.
By opting for a regular pace, you’ll allow your collaborators to better absorb the new knowledge in the long run. Not to mention developing a « learning process » in the company’s culture, which will only add on to your employer branding.
Regular training sessions also allows your collaborators to give you more feedback, what they like, what they likes less, where they learned things etc.…You can make trainings more pertinent and observe all the positive effects on the teams, in real time.
Extend the scope of skills, for your collaborators
We saw this earlier, trainings need to be personalized, depending on the needs of your collaborators. But this personalization shouldn’t confine your collaborators, in a sphere of defined skills. It could be interesting to train your colleagues in sectors, which are miles away from their profession in the company. Jack, the head of the IT department may very well be interested by a training in Marketing, a sector in which he’s secretly been interested in years, since he received a refusal to join a business school, when he was young.
This way, your collaborators are more open, and understand the role of other teams, in more detail and work better together. Even better, you encourage internal mobility, which once again can help retain your collaborators, for a longer time in the company.
For this kind of training, you can implement a mentoring system, where each commercial trains the Finance department, on his sector and vice versa.
Give particular attention to older employees
Focusing on the older employees in your company is a very good investment. At the age of 50, a collaborator has already worked for 25 years and his skills/knowledge aren’t necessarily up to date, compared to a youngster who just got his diploma. This doesn’t mean that this person should be left behind.
As you know, the retirement age is on the verge of increasing. The oldest ones in your company surely have 10, 15 or even 20 years left, to work. Investing in training, is a way of carrying out a little update and boosting their motivation. Once again, establishing a mentoring system, with the help of the youngest generations, can turn out to be the best option and each one can learn from others.