Employers that provide their team with training are making a commitment to better customer service and to being more competitive in the marketplace as well as encouraging a reduced team turnover rate.
Few businesses are incapable of providing some sort of in-house training to improve skill levels and the improvements in performance that result makes it a highly cost effective investment.
A typical small business’ basic skills training program can incorporate on-the-job instruction of individuals or groups by supervisors and cover practical subjects such as workplace safety and equipment operation. It can also encompass more fundamental topics like reading and writing that at first may not seem work related but actually underlie everyone’s ability to perform their job.
It won’t take a lot of time to develop these programs, nor will it require much in the way of resources. The essence of basic skills training is the sharing of information, letting those with more knowledge communicate what they know to those who will benefit from the exchange.
This type of training is also valuable as part of an induction program for new workers to ensure they have the specific knowledge their work requires. It will give them greater confidence and enable them to be more productive from day one.
Delta Wire, a small manufacturing company in Mississippi, instituted a basic skills training program that enabled workers to record and interpret information on a control chart, and to communicate about that information properly. A year after the program was introduced Delta Wire’s non-conforming material had decreased from 6 or 7 percent to just 2 percent and the firm’s output had increased from 70,000 to 90,000 pounds per week.
Here’s how to introduce a basic skills improvement program in your own organization.
1. Start by analyzing each position in the business and list the specific knowledge and skills that it requires. This will tell you the kind of training you need to provide.
2. Appoint one senior person from your team as the Training Supervisor. Let them be project manager of the training and work with them on structuring the process that will deliver the skills training needed.
3. Identify the members of your team who would make the best instructor for each of the skills on your list. Involve as many other team members as possible in the planning and let them help in developing the content of each ‘course’.
4. You might be able to involve your suppliers or even some of your customers in the process, especially if skills related to equipment or product usage are part of the requirements. Most people are willing to share their knowledge with others if asked to do so.
5. As with all the training you do, be sure you have a way of getting feedback on how effective the training has been. Ask both the instructors and the students to evaluate the training sessions and use their comments to improve the process.
You can get assistance in planning your basic skills training from a variety of sources including local technical and vocational educational institutions, trade associations, unions and government agencies. Investigate these before you begin and you may find that someone else has already done most of the hard work for you.
Information in this article is sourced from RAN ONE, Inc