Though I don’t argue that classroom training has its place but when training is equate to just that, we had missed out many opportunities.
Training and development does help and make a difference to the way people do their work. So, if employers are thinking that training had to involve spending lots of money, perhaps the following may open up your mind to other avenues of getting your staff trained and developed.
1. On the job or OTJ training for short. It has been around for ages and has proven time and again, its successful method. It applies best for technical skills. You watch how something is being done,
2. In-house training. Get a senior to conduct a theory and practical session – again, it does not costs a cent and yet the benefits are tremendous, both to the trainees as well as the trainer. As a trainer, you are required to know your stuff much more and through an opportunity like this, the trainer gets to train herself to be even more familiar with the subject-matter. It applies to both technical as well as soft skills. The employer benefit by having a seasoned senior and well-trained junior workforce at the end of the day.
3. Check with your vendors – the usual type of training you can get is product training but who knows, they may have some in-house training on soft skills such as customer service, selling and etc. – can they include you as well? If you are an important client, they would not dare to charge you..:D
4. Through a Networking Club – join a local networking club in which they invite speakers on regular basis. You can get your staff to join for FREE.
5. Books and Training Manuals – say, you want your supervisor to learn about leadership or management skills, why not get him to read a book that you had read (important!) and write a review or things he can learn. After that, encourage him to apply the principles learnt in the work place.
6. Online education – knowledge abounds in the net now. There is really no excuse for not knowing anything unless you are lazy. Get to know some sites that are of authority in the subject matter and set apart say half an hour a day for your staff to surf and learn from these technical experts or gurus.
7. Social networking sites – leverage the power of these sites. Do not be afraid to get your staff to be hooked up with Facebook and encourage them to get connected with experts of various subject matters. Do you know it is so easy to send a message or better still, write a message on someone’s wall and ask for advice? Learning takes place immediately when people start responding to your question.
So, there you have it – 7 opportunities, yet we so often left out from our radar. The next time, someone in your organization asked, “Is there any training provided?”, I bet you now have a better answer..:)