Now is the time to invest in your employees’ development to improve productivity, loyalty and job satisfaction. It is very common in a tough economy to skimp when it comes to our employees’ development. Training budgets are a distant memory. You can’t remember the last time you were able to add staff. Your employees have had to take on more and more work just to keep costs in line. And if a training or skill-building opportunity does present itself. do one has the time or energy to take advantage of it. If your 2011 budget is tight, it’s time to get creative. Consider some of these options:
- Check to see if your state has an employee training program that will reimburse small businesses for training programs. California has a program that assists employers in strengthening their competitive edge by providing funds to off-set the costs of job skills training.
- Take advantage of a wide variety of professional and skills development e-training programs offered today. Many are available through your local colleges and universities. These are typically very affordable and offer the flexibility of remote learning when it is most convenient for your employees.
- Develop a mentoring program. Matching your employees up with another employee who is more experienced to provide job related coaching and career development support. This also gives your mentors the opportunity to hone their leadership skills. Mentor programs, if done right, can have a very positive impact on employee loyalty and retention with little to no financial investment.
- Partner with a local nonprofit volunteer center. Most centers offer programs for businesses that help match employees to projects that offer great team and skill building opportunities. This creates a win-win-win opportunity for your employee, your business and your local community.
As the economy continues to grow and the job market improves, so will the risk of loosing your most talented employees. Invest now and it will go a long way in the eyes of your employees.
Thoughts? Suggestions? We’d love to hear from you.