Training Technology

4 Powerful Employee Training Tips for Startups

Published by in Training Technology

Startups face unique challenges in delivering employee training on a bootstrapped budget.

startup_employee

Figuring out which areas to allocate your resources is particularly challenging when you do not know which factors will have the best impact on your company’s growth.

Many startups forgo the challenge of formal employee training because they think their team is too small, or it’s too expensive, or it’s a waste of time. While setting up employee training can be difficult, it’s by no means impossible, and it’s definitely something all startups should have in place for long-term success.

Here are four powerful employee training tips for startups.

1. Utilizing Online Training.

Online training is a highly cost-effective and agile way to train employees.

Often, startups lack the physical space and funds to host live training. With online training, new employees can do their training from home or at their desk/workspace.

Additionally, startups may only be hiring a few employees at a time, or only have a few employees in each department. This means it’s not be feasible to gather a group of employees for an in-person training session or to segment each department’s live training.

With online training, the material can be delivered over-and-over again to individual employees or small groups of employees at no additional marginal cost.

Online training also saves the time of potential trainers. At a startup, existing employees are usually going to be the ones delivering training. However, because startups have so few employees, each employee’s time is very valuable to the organization. With online training, programs are stored and their delivery can be automated so as to not take up the valuable time of your other employees.

Another distinct advantage that online training offers, that may be particularly applicable to startups, is the ability to frequently change and develop new training content. As a startup grows and its products or services evolve, it will have to alter its training. With online training platforms, specifically learning management systems, managers can easily add modules and content to training platforms.

2. Determine your needs.

As mentioned above, the resources available for a startup are extremely valuable, so why waste them on training skills that are not necessarily valuable for employees?

Before creating any training program, you need to understand what skills employees are lacking and what knowledge and experience is vital for them to perform better at their. These skills are different for every industry, every job and every department, so make sure you spend ample time researching and doing a needs/skills analysis.

Since the budget for training is limited, you should first focus on only the most crucial skills your employees need.

3. Leverage current employees as trainers.

Startups may not have the resources to bring in outside experts, like guest speakers, industry influencers, or training professionals, as trainers. However, you’ll often find that one of your existing employees or trainers has a deep knowledge of the subject matter you want your employees to learn.

Assigning your employees the task of designing and delivering training programs can be a highly cost-effective way to train employees. As an added bonus, this will also help hone the management and presentation skills of the employee giving the training.

A benefit of a startup is working very closely with your employees and colleagues. Creating an engaging experience where employees share, learn, and bond together is a very valuable asset when striving for long-term success. When employees feel valued and are treated as experts in their department, they are more likely to take on a stronger role and be more engaged.

4. Measure the effectiveness of your training programs.

Trainees’ understanding and retention of the material should be measured through testing following the training. If employees are consistently failing to perform well on tests, it may mean the material or training method does not properly convey what you want it to, and changes are necessary.

Christopher Pappas remind us, “When it comes to eLearning, content means everything. If eLearning content is not masterfully designed, all the rest will just go down the drain.”

If you’re already using an online training platform, you can ensure your content is working effectively by tracking the performance of your employees with built-in testing and reporting.

Thoughts?

What else have you seen work for cash-strapped start-ups needing to train employees?  Add your suggestions in the comments!


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About the Author

Roz Bahrami

Roz Bahrami

Roz Bahrami is a blogger for SkyPrep, an online training software for companies to train employees and measure results. Roz is a regular contributor to blogs related to corporate training, L&D, and HR technology.

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