When it comes to training and up-skilling, statistics show that only 78% of Australian businesses provide structured training and personal development opportunities for their employees.
Large corporations and government sectors account for the vast majority of this 78%, with only 20% relating to small and medium-sized businesses.
Looking at these statistics, it’s no wonder that three out of every four Australian small businesses don’t survive to see their fifth birthday. Staff training and development is one of the most effective ways to increase both staff morale and business longevity – costing you considerably less in the long run.
I’ll repeat that….. “3/4 DON’T MAKE IT TO YEAR 5”
So why are so few businesses training their staff? The most common reasons include a lack of budget and a lack of education; business owners do not realise (or refuse to believe) that there are enormous benefits to training the people who work for them.
And of course, there are bad experiences. We’ve all been there. A whole day training course that leaves you square-eyed, exhausted, bored, and entirely uninspired. Most of the time even the biscuits aren’t even good, and the coffee granules in the jar are stuck together with a “use by” date of 1998.
So how do we effectively develop our staff? How do we ensure that our business is moving with the times, up to date with the latest trends and industry insights, working effectively and correctly managing inefficiencies?
How do we provide our staff with new skills? How do we become better managers? Leaders?
When deciding on a training organisation you want to engage with, make sure you read their content – do your research – ensure you are a cultural match and that they will take the time to:
TRULY. UNDERSTAND. YOUR. BUSINESS
Be completely transparent with your prospective training organisation. Inform them of your budget and other restrictions. Tell them if you are unable to have all of your staff trained at once. See if they are willing to compromise and adjust their program to fit yours.
Be confident that your training session won’t be a cookie-cutter template-type program – because no two businesses are the same. Make sure the course is tailored to suit your business and your staffs’ personalities; everybody works differently, therefore:
EVERYBODY. LEARNS. DIFFERENTLY.
Make sure you thoroughly understand the product you are buying and the topics that the training session will cover. And be open to a two-way conversation; training organisations are impartial, so they can easily spot issues within your organisation that can be addressed through training. Be open to that conversation and be willing to revisit the way you view your team, its strengths, and weaknesses.
When do you find ‘the one’, ask questions about the program follow-up. What will trainers give to your staff to ensure these learned skills stay fresh and top of mind?
Ensure your program includes a Q&A session at its conclusion and ask your training provider to provide you with a portal through which you can ask any future questions (someone you can talk to without breaking your budget).
Or, CONSIDER turning off the screen and having an interactive session based on discussion and team building activities, rather than a PowerPoint presentation, is a good move, as your team has probably had enough screen time by this stage.
IT IS TIME TO BE CREATIVE.
It might all sound too good to be true, but trust me, this type of training does exist. And it will strengthen your business in ways you have not yet imagined.
Your team is your legacy, so it is never too late to invest in them.