3 Employee Training Tips for Small Business Owners

Ask any small business owner, and most of them will tell you they know the importance of training their employees, but don’t have the budget to organize training sessions on a regular basis. This is a common problem. When SMBs have to cut their budget, the first thing they target is the training budget. However, with a little planning, it may be possible for you to not only save money on training room rentals but also make your training programs a success. Here are some tips.

1. Choose in-house specialists

If you are running a small business, the number of employees would be limited. As the owner, you are likely to be well versed with the strengths and weaknesses of each employee. Therefore, instead of hiring experts from outside, it will always be a good idea to choose someone from your staff to conduct the training sessions. For instance, if you have an employee with excellent computer skills you can ask him to conduct a session on the same. This will enhance engagement and will be cost effective too.

2. Incorporate employee interests in your training programs

There is indeed no point in organizing training sessions and paying for classroom rentals unless your employees are motivated to learn. You can plan programs but cannot force them to pay attention! This is why incorporating employee interests in training programs is important. Consider circulating a questionnaire enquiring about the same. Incorporate them for best results.

3. Keep in mind the generation gap

This becomes a challenge while planning training sessions for small businesses because the employee strength is less. Owners often have the tendency to club together different age groups in one session! This is a gross mistake! The older generation might not be privy to fresh ideas or technologies as the modern generation!

Training sessions conducted for small or medium-sized businesses need to possess a personal touch. After all, small businesses often function like a large family unit and it is this sense of togetherness that keeps them going.

How to Measure the Impact of Your Employee Training Program

Companies today, spend a lot for employee training programs. They need to rent training rooms, invite professional trainers, set up the required infrastructure and so on. Besides, they also need to adjust the loss of man-hours towards training attendance! Naturally, there would be a keen interest towards measuring the effect of these training programs on employees just to show how successful the program was.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Training Programs

The most common means of evaluating the impact of training programs is through the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model, which adopts a 4 step approach.

Step 1: Checking on reactions – This is done by enquiring about the relevance and level of difficulty of the course content, asking questions about takeaways and learning. You can discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the program and try to understand if the training accommodated the learners pace and style.

Step 2: Measure learning – Learning can be measured with the help of test scores, evaluating the projects for applied learning, influencing formal KPIs, certifications post course completion and through the supervisor feedback and report.

Step 3: Assess the impact on work – Assessors need to ask questions like how the learning has been implemented at work and understand how confident the learners are in sharing new knowledge and skills. Common tools include self-assessment questionnaires, informal feedback from seniors and peer groups, focus groups, checking KPIs, comments, complaints, customer surveys and so on.

Step 4: Measure the outcomes – Tangible results of the training program should be measured by reduced costs, prompter project completion, enhanced quality, enhanced productivity, improved employee retention rates, more marketing leads, elevated morale and so on.

An assessment of the entire training program can be made with the help of these steps and required changes can be brought it when planning the next program. So, right from the time you are planning to rent classroom or a space for conducting a training program, make sure you also chalk out a complete evaluation program.

How to Turn Your Employees into Leaders

Employee development is one of the key responsibilities of employers these days. Developing employees into good managers and more importantly, great leaders, is a smart way to keep them motivated and retain them within the system. Of course, one of the best ways to help your employees acquire fresh skills is through training. You can plan your training room rentals in advance for optimizing the cost. In addition, there are more ways to transform productive employees into great leaders. Here are some ideas.

Help your employees to learn networking

As a senior colleague, it is important to help your juniors to pick up networking skills. Encourage them to attend networking events. Leaders need to be confident communicators. They should be able to initiate conversations with strangers, appear comfortable in seeking favors, getting a job done, and landing a mutually beneficial deal. Conversations play an extremely important role in branching out and collaborating within the industry.

Give them the required space for learning

As a boss or a mentor, your normal tendency towards your employee would be to help and guide, as and when he or she requires. However, it is always important to allow space for self-learning and a bit of struggle. When you are grooming employees for leadership roles, you should allow them to figure out things on their own. For instance, if he is struggling with a balance sheet, the best thing to do is to introduce him to the finance person who is in-charge. Allow him to take it from there.

Foster ownership

The primary responsibility of leaders is to make timely decisions. If you are coaching your employees to be great decision makers it would also be important for you to trust them unflinchingly and allow them to make some decisions on their own.

In addition, you should organize training programs for skill development. Make sure you have your classroom rentals for training purposes finalized well in advance.

How Training Helps Boost Employee Productivity

For small businesses, it is often tempting cut down on their employee training budget, especially in times of economic downturn. But, training not only helps improve the quality of your final product but also boosts your employee productivity.

Training also helps employees to make better career decisions and take up bigger responsibilities in their existing companies. If you haven’t already, it is perhaps time to rent training room and organize a session for improving employee performance. Here are some ways training helps increase productivity.

Updates existing skill sets

Existing skills sets of your employees need to be refreshed from time to time. This helps in retaining your productive employees. With refreshed skills that are in sync with the demanding times, employees will find it easier to complete their regular tasks faster. This will keep them motivated. They will also be seeking additional responsibilities for personal growth!

Boosts confidence

Learning new skills make your employees more efficient, which in turn boost their confidence. With enhanced confidence, they will find renewed enthusiasm at work, which may well translate to increased productivity. Training improves your employees’ self-worth and inspires them to perform better.

Instills a sense of belonging

When you rent seminar room and make arrangements for a training session, it shows you care for employees and their professional growth. This works wonders in fostering a strong employee –employer bond. And this in turn enhances commitment levels and improves productivity.

Fosters a performance-based culture

Training is motivating and inspiring for employees since it puts forth attainable goals for them to reach. However, the goals should be clearly defined ones and the success needs to be clearly defined as well. Employees should be aware of their goals in order to understand how to achieve it.

Training programs should be integral to employee development programs. A well planned and suitably executed program helps in improving the performance of the workforce at large.

Top Tips for Hosting a BYOD event

BYOD or “Bring your own Device “events have become extremely popular these days. Here attendees are allowed to bring their own electronic devices to their sessions. BYOD events need to be planned extremely well. Apart from finalizing your training room rental, there are several other preparatory measures to undertake. We look at some guidelines for hosting such an event successfully.

Ensure that your attendees are prepared

Attendees should know what they should exactly bring with them. They should be informed about applications they need to install as well as the system requirements, well before the event date. If the participants belong to young age-group, they probably need to be informed about the security implications concerning a personal device. For instance, if they are sourcing software from the parent company, let them know about any possible restrictions or security requirements.

Provide on-site tech support

When you have electronic devices in the classroom, make sure you look for a seminar room rental provider who can also engage a tech support professional on-site. Technical issues are likely to be the order of the day with laptops, tablets and mobile phones at work. Without proper support, the instructor may end up spending his session time handling tech problems!

Announce a buffer time slot for setting up

Your learners or trainees may need additional time to set up their devices before the commencement of the lecture or training program. Make sure the same has been included in the schedule and mentioned specifically. This will help attendees prepare themselves well without any hassle, stress or confusion whatsoever.

Pros and Cons of BYOD in Classroom

With mobile devices invading the market each day, a fair number of schools and colleges are embracing the trend of allowing students to bring their own devices in the classroom. Some institutions are making tablets customary. Special training applications are being developed for helping students. So, when you rent a training room for your session, you may perhaps want to check on the number of charging points in your room and the lighting set up for comfortable usage of technical devices. But is BYOD a good concept after all? We look at the pros and cons.

Pros

BYOD has several advantages. It allows students to use the devices they are already using and this actually helps improve their productivity. The educational institute also saves on cost of stationary, circulating books, providing laptops and tablets to students and so on. The same amount can be used to rent classroom that has better overall infrastructure for trainees.

A mobility program also means paperless access to notes, presentation material, lectures and so on. Students can even submit papers electronically. Especially, if a trainee has missed the training session for some reason after paying for it, recorded lectures and presentations can help them catch up.

Cons

The usage of too many mobile devices can clutter the wireless network. With so many variants and versions of Smartphone and tablets available in the market, technology can actually cause a class divide among rich and not so rich students. Parents may also not be open to paying for a mobile device to be used in school. Students might get easily distracted while using mobile devices because there are so many other things you can do on them.

Before you rent classroom for a training event, decide whether the session will be a BYOD one or a regular one. In case you choose the former, you may need to make special arrangements.

How to Gather Instant Feedback from Event Attendees

Planning an event is no less than an adventure. It requires serious multitasking. Often times, the preparations like finalizing training room rentals, preparing content, printing invites etc seem so overwhelming that organizers forget about the post-program feedback collection process from attendees. Most event organizers are keen to know how well their program has been received. Here are some guidelines for a speedy feedback collection from your guests.

Create a survey with relevant questions

Questions should be simple and to the point. The aim must be to highlight the positives and negatives of the program. Ask them how their overall experience was, how relevant the agenda of the program, how they would rate the speakers, what according to them the improvement areas of the program are, how the check-in experience was and so on. Do not forget to ask them what their favorite part of the day was.

Don’t wait for later

Feedback should be collected as soon as the program gets over. This is when everything about the program would be fresh on their minds. You can hand over forms at the exit, send them links on email or have the survey uploaded in iPads at the venue. The best thing to do is to opt for a survey that’s mobile-friendly.

Use graphics and pictures

Make recollecting easy by using graphic representations and pictures of speakers who presented at the event. Remember, you are likely to get an accurate feedback only if your guests can remember what they have witnessed at the program. Make the survey as simple and as interesting as possible for the guests.

Just like you need to finalize your classroom rentals and other arrangements in advance, it is equally important to spare a thought for post-program feedback collection methods. These are the inputs that will help you improve in future.

How to Drive more Attendees to Your Corporate Event

Planning a corporate event could be a stressful affair. You need to start with preparations well in advance. Training room rentals need to be evaluated. Content needs to be prepared and presentations need to be planned. But most importantly, RSVPs have to be confirmed at the earliest. The success of the event would largely depend on the number of attendees you can attract. So, how do you attract more people? Here are some helpful tips.

Take to social media

Social media is the best platform for publicizing your event. Start by creating a Facebook page and invite prospective attendees. Seek RSVPs on the Facebook platform. If your event targets a specific industry segment, using a professional interface like LinkedIn can also be of help. You can also use question and answer links and hashtags on Twitter for creating a buzz around your event.

Present a clear agenda in your invite

Presenting a clear agenda of what your program is all about, provides that much needed clarity to your attendees. Chalk out the entire event with food breaks, discussion sessions and so on. Be precise and specific. Vague information can end up confusing your guests. Once they know the specific time slots, the breaks and so on, they would have a clear understanding of what they can expect.

Make ticket buying easy

Use a convenient ticketing platform for your guests so that they don’t get irritated with the steps involving the process of ticket purchase. Often times, guests who consider the process too lengthy, leave it in between thinking they would do it later. However, most of them simply forget!

Choose a convenient location

When you opt for seminar room rental or training room rental, make sure you choose a convenient location. It should not be too far from the city. The best place could be somewhere close to the city’s business centers.

Make sure you plan a complete strategy for publicizing your event across the city. Choices would largely depend on the kind of budget you have in mind.

4 Tips for Conducting a Performance Review Meeting

Approaches and methods for reviewing the performance of employees differ from one organization to another. However, there can be a general set of guidelines for sharing the outcomes in the most impactful manner. So, if you are planning to rent training room for conducting a performance review meeting, here are some useful tips.

1. Establish a specific purpose for the meeting

The moment you rent classroom or training room for a performance review meeting, also establish a specific purpose for the interaction. What is it that you would like to achieve from the interaction? Would you focus on improvement areas or are you keener to discuss growth opportunities for the employee? Having a definite purpose will ensure a successful interaction.

2. Share your agenda during the preparation phase

It is also absolutely necessary to share your agenda with your employees at least seven days prior to the meeting. This helps both sides to prepare well for the interaction. As a manager, you need to have all the information that you require for reviewing your employees. Make sure you collect them and study them well before you get into the meeting.

3. Keep it formal

Do not waste too much time in exchanging pleasantries and indulging in small talk. Keep the interaction highly professional, formal and duly focused. Get to the point right away without wasting much time. Considering that performance review interactions are planned one after another, proper time management is very important.

It is important to allow your employees to express their viewpoint. Never override their statements, cut them short or appear impatient before them. It is important to be objective in approach and keep emotions in control. Remember, it is a discussion and not an address. Both sides have to be given the scope of communication.

A performance review meeting gone wrong could result in loss of precious productivity. Ensure a great preparation before you schedule a date and rent a training room.

How to Deal with Resistance to Change from Employees

Change is inevitable in business. If you want to grow your business in this cutthroat competitive environment, you need to utilize new technologies, welcome new trends and stay open to new ideas and suggestions. But, what if some of your employees are reluctant to accept changes? As a business owner, your job is to convince them to accept the inevitable. If required, rent seminar room and provide them training before bringing in any change in your company. For instance, if you are planning to implement new software, provide them training on how to use the new technology. Choosing the right training room rental company for organizing your training session is also important. Here are some useful tips on how to deal with resistance to change from employees.

Increase personal interactions among employees

When the team members get to understand each other, their overall performance will surely increase. Hence, you need to generate opportunities for your employees to socialize and ensure that the happy hours do not involve work. Group outings, company-sponsored events or at least cultural or small gatherings could be effective in fostering collaboration, which in turn would help break the resistance to change.

Understand the cause of resistance

Try to understand why your employees are resistant to change. Some employees may start complaining before even knowing what’s going to change. Take the time to understand their psychology. Try to eradicate the fear of change and make them understand that the changes will be more exciting and entertaining to them. Also try to remove their fear of losing job if the performance is not effective after change. This is usually the main cause of resistance to any change.

Train your team leaders

You may not have the time and energy to convince every employee to accept the change. It is also a good idea to first train your team leaders, then they can pass on the learning to their team members. That way, implementing change becomes less stressful and more organized.