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Building Internal Training for Employees

By Barbara Beauregard   |    November 3, 2015   |    11:12 AM

When you hire someone, you usually do it with the idea that they'll be with your company long-term. Keeping them around will also mean creating opportunities for them to grow and enhance their skills. This should require a comprehensive training program for new and existing employees. Here's how to do it.

Internal training contributes to small business success as it offers employers and employees advantages that are unavailable when an employee goes to an external training program or a seminar. On-the-job training not only improves staff skills but ensures employees are ready for the next promotion. Training isn’t just about telling employees how to do something once; in order for it to be successful for your employee and your small business you need to build up a solid internal training program.

The first thing to do is to ensure your executives are on board. If management doesn’t believe in developing, regularly updating and monitoring a formal internal training program, then it will be doomed from the outset. After this, get together with key executives to discuss what the internal training requirements should be, in line with company needs and goals. Once you have defined this, match the needs and goals, with position-related needs and the skills necessary for each employee to achieve these goals. Divide internal training into two sets: soft and hard skill categories. Soft skills is comprised of internal training for activities related to emotional intelligence, such as customer service, managing people etc. Hard skills consists of those which are easily quantifiable such as software skills, machine operation or other specific job procedures. Next you should determine which training each employee requires to excel in their job and make your small business more successful. Although most training should be specific, you might want to include general information training for every employee on the training matrix.

Once you have your plan established, create your small business's internal training matrix on a computer. This should include employee names, job titles and the internal training available. By placing scheduled training dates next to the employee's names, you can use the program as a scheduling and tracking guide. You need a team that will be accountable for training in order for it to be implemented successfully, designate team members to take your program to the next level or hire an independent training company to develop your program. Make sure your internal training is engaging, challenging and interesting. For example, employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than its text-based counterpart. If your training is text-based, it is less likely that your staff will engage with your content.

Once your designated team has created a full internal training scheme based on your needs and goals plus tailored to individual employee needs, implement your training program across your small business and in particular with new hires during their orientation, especially those employees who need specific internal training relating to safety and policy. Make sure you follow up on your internal training program, so you can monitor its success and follow employee growth. You might need to tweak training as the process progresses but you will surely see many benefits.