As an entrepreneur, you know that your unique combination of passion, talent, skills, training, experience and business acumen are integral to the success of your enterprise. Nonetheless, you also understand that you could not have achieved the measure of success you’ve gained in your enterprise alone. Your great ideas light the way, but the hard work, dedication, passion and ingenuity of your staff also plays a huge role in your business success. As such, your employees deserve every but of support, training, development and guidance you can provide them.
The trouble is that this invariably comes at a monetary cost to your business. Smaller and newer businesses which are still finding their way and doing their best to keep their heads above water financially are understandably full of trepidation when it comes to spending money at the expense of their all-important profit margins. Fail to invest in your employees, however, and the results could be disastrous.
What happens when you fail to develop your employees
While it’s understandable that new entrepreneurs might be keen to keep a close eye on the purse strings, this may be at the expense of your business. Underdeveloped employees will at best lose motivation, resulting in a loss of productivity or dip in quality of service for your customers. At worst, they may quit your organization altogether, even running into the open arms of your competitors, thereby giving them an edge over you. Even if this doesn’t happen, you will still have to endure the expense and dip in productivity while you recruit and train their replacement.
Let’s take a look at just a few of the ways in which you can give your employees the gift of professional development…
If you want to ensure that your employees do things your way, making sure that your customers get such a continuity in service that it’s like you’re dealing with each and every customer yourself. While in-house training can be cost-effective and ensure brand continuity, every now and then an outside perspective is appreciated, which brings us to…
External training providers
The benefit of using external training providers is that no matter how knowledgeable you may be, even the best of us has blind spots in our knowledge. External training providers can bring a fresh outside perspective to your business while also having training and motivational techniques that you may never even have considered. While again this may result in additional expense, it may well be to the benefit of your business.
Online learning or community college
If you worry about a productivity dip while your employees are developed on company time, you may benefit from funding, or part-funding their own learning through community college or online learning. This puts the onus on the employee and gives them the gift of academic or vocational qualifications that can empower them throughout their career. With a plethora of online courses out there from an online rn to bsn program to just about any academic degree you can imagine, online learning is an extremely powerful tool that shows your employees how much you value them.
The only downside is that it may be tricky incorporating their learning into their operational activities in a cohesive way.
An open door
Finally, sometimes the best and easiest form of development comes in the form of an open door. By allowing your employees an opportunity to talk to you and taking the time to explain processes and procedures in a little more detail you can ensure operational excellence while establishing yourself as the kind of boss they can always rely on.
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