A busy workload often means staff training is overlooked – but it doesn’t need to be. These flexible training ideas can help you fit staff training into your regular work routine.
Skilled, knowledgeable and engaged staff are a key ingredient in any successful business. However, you don’t need to send people to formal classroom sessions to learn about the latest technology or industry trends. These days, training can be as flexible as your business needs it to be.
Spending time on training makes good business sense, but the day-to-day workload can leave little room for anything else. If you need to get back on track with staff training, here are three easy and effective ways to get started:
1. Learn any time with smartphones
Recent data indicates nearly 3 in 4 Australians own a smartphone with the average person spending more than an hour a day on theirs. Instead of trying to find an hour for a more traditional staff training session, why not tap into our love of absorbing information through tiny screens? Find subjects and formats that suit your staff – for example, podcasts about time management, videos on property-related topics or conveyancing webinars. These can all be delivered and accessed when it suits – over a morning coffee, in-between larger tasks or while using public transport.
2. Collaborate in a lunch-and-learn session
Even the busiest person should be able to attend a one-hour lunch-and-learn session. You can use the hour to troubleshoot internal processes, prepare staff for technology updates or discuss recent legislative changes. Alternatively, invite an external person to speak about leadership or deliver communication tips. The options are endless. Not only is this multi-tasking method highly efficient, the casual atmosphere will encourage participation. Ask staff to bring their lunch along or take the opportunity to reward people with a catered lunch.
3. Share advice through a mentoring program
Mentoring programs can help employees settle into a new role or foster career development ambitions. They generally work best when people voluntarily choose to take part. When setting up a mentoring program, create some goals and boundaries for the mentor to mentee relationship. Consider how these goals align with your overall training needs or business strategy. Prepare checklists and meeting agendas to support the program, and take a little time to ensure participants are well matched. Things like communication preferences (face-to-face, electronic or phone) and availability (an hour per week or month) will help to match up mentees with suitable mentors. One survey found 95% of participants in mentoring programs found it motivated them to do their very best, so that’s got to be good for business.
These flexible training ideas can easily be incorporated into your busy working week. Remember, staff training can be money and time well spent, and you’re likely to see a big return on your investment.