When we were kids, this was the time of year that most of us dreaded – the end of summer and the beginning of the new school year. But for some of us, this time of year was met with the anticipation of boxes of brand new No. 2 pencils, fresh crayons (Can’t you still smell that waxy scent of unbridled creativity?), and new notebooks just waiting for us to enter our homework assignments. These were our power tools – the instruments that helped us create, learn, and employ our newfound knowledge to the tests we would be given as the school year unfolded.
But now we’ve grown and our tools in the workplace have taken on a different look. Shiny new laptops, smart phones, social media and software are the tools we use to create, learn and employ our skills to the many tests we face on a daily basis – most of which are “unannounced tests.” My question to you – as managers, supervisors, and owners of small businesses – is how prepared is your staff to handle the various tests they will face each day to be productive, profitable, customer-service oriented, and totally in line with the culture you are trying to create in your organization? Because, quite frankly, you can give an employee the fastest and slickest equipment on the market, but unless you are teaching an employee how you want them to behave and how to conduct themselves while serving your organization and customers, they are tools without power.
As you are budgeting for the upcoming year, consider some of the training topics that are trending:
- Managing Generational Differences – Will arm your staff with the knowledge they need to serve the various generations in today’s crowded marketplace.
- Public Speaking – Provides employees with the skills they need to communicate face to face, a skill many employers say their employees are losing due to social media and electronic communication.
- Personal Branding for the Entrepreneurial Spirit – With so many people starting small businesses these days, it helps to know how to set yourself apart from the competition.
- The Basics – Sales Skills and Customer Service Training are still at the top of most wish lists. With the newer generations entering the job market, it’s more important than ever to make sure a strong foundation exists in your firm to ensure high levels of customer retention.
So what types of training are important in your organization? What are you budgeting for in the months ahead?