How to Incorporate Automation into Training and Development for Small Businesses

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Because the world of business is constantly changing, it is imperative for small businesses to be flexible enough to roll with the changes. Policies and standard operating procedures that worked for your small business a few years ago may no longer be applicable in today’s tech-based workforce. For that reason, small business owners should offer regular opportunities for training and development to their staff. Developing your team’s knowledge and expertise is essential to giving your small business a competitive edge in the business world.

The most traditional method of training and development is typically done in-house, where staff members are gathered together for a meeting facilitated by other employees, stakeholders, or specialists outside of the business. The next most popular method is to send employees to seminars or conferences. But for small businesses with less than 10 employees, these methods are a luxury that many cannot afford. They cost too much time and money. One of the biggest methods businesses utilize nowadays to save both time and money is to automate as many processes as possible. Training and development is one of those processes.

What Automated Training Looks Like

Instead of blocking out time to gather employees together for training, small business employers can use a learning management system (LMS) like TalentLMS or Litmos to build customized courses for their staff. With programs like these, you can upload your own presentations and videos or you can use other web-sources and create a training plan for your staff. Not every employee may have the same training requirements, so you can tailor course modules to meet your employee’s individual needs.

When you offer customized training modules or online courses for your employees, they can go through the programs on their own time and at their own pace. So instead of forcing all of your employees to give up valuable work time for a meeting, they can go through the modules when they have some down time. On some systems, you can even add some incentives for your team to complete the work by gamifying the training program with badges, points, levels, rewards, and leaderboards.

Bring the Experts to Your Team

Over the past few years, online education or e-learning has grown tremendously in popularity. Sites like Udemy and Lynda partner with various universities and organizations to offer courses in business, software, data science, computer science, and much more. You don’t have to be a student to enroll in their courses, nor is it a requirement to seek certification (though some sites offer certification). These training modules that can be purchased and accessed by anyone. Some sites like Coursera actually provide free courses to help your team increase their knowledge.

Whereas the previously mentioned sites offer courses to help your team members develop particular skills, there are other sites like Bizlibrary that are more focused on employee training and leadership development. The resources they offer can come in the form of a podcast, blog post, webinar, or an eBook. Whether you’re choosing a site to help boost professional development or to enhance your employee’s skills, as long as the training offered is relevant, these are great opportunities to offer your employees.

Benefits of Incorporating Automation

Using an LMS not only gives your employees the ability to learn new things in their free time, but it allows you to determine through quizzes and tests how well your employees have been trained. If a particular employee does not seem to be performing well on the quizzes, it can symbolize a red flag. If a number of employees miss an answer on a quiz, you can assess which concepts were not coming across well and determine whether or not the concept needs to be reinforced in a different way or thrown out altogether.

We have mentioned saving time as one of the main reasons one would want to automate their training and development program. Using an LMS means you can save time on having to chase down employees to see where they are on completing task assignments. Instead, when you assign tasks to your employees, you can also give deadlines. When you check your dashboard, you can easily see who has or has not completed their tasks. A good LMS allows you to micromanage your employees without making them feel like you’re on their case, which in turn gives them the freedom to be more productive.

Customize Your Small Business’s Training & Development Today

Small businesses are known for being relational, and though it might seem that automation takes the relationship out of business, it’s more beneficial to see automation as helping business relationships to be more efficient. Leadership and employees can still have relationship, it’s just that when certain processes are automated, it helps everyone to be more informed when they communicate with each other. Instead of calling an employee into your office to ask whether or not they have completed a training task, you can instead call them into your office to discover how they can apply what they’ve learned to a specific problem the business may be facing. That is a value add in terms of time and business morale.

If you want to know that your employees are up to date on the latest industry standards, or if you want to update your standard operating procedures and retrain your team members, you might want to incorporate an LMS in your small business. Contact us at Tuxedo Impressions to find out how we can help you today.

~ S. Wasike, Team Tuxedo Impressions LLC™