Every company needs effective methods to train their employees, but the annual investment in training programs can still drop plenty of jaws. U.S. companies spent a whopping $84 billion on training expenditures—including payroll for both facilitators and attendees, as well as external products and services.
The importance of training isn’t only evidenced by money, either. According to a Gallup poll, 87 percent of Millennial employees said professional development programs are important to them in a job. Likewise, 94 percent of employees surveyed by LinkedIn said they would remain with a company longer if it invested in their learning.
Implementing an effective training and professional development program can be easier said than done, however. Particularly for startups, heavy investments might be cost-effective in the long run, but they have to have the capital first.
Fortunately, new technologies and training methodologies are making it easier for small businesses and startups to provide their teams from the top down with effective onboarding and continuous development opportunities.
Want to ensure you provide effective startup training? Check out the following six ways to bring smaller teams up to speed:
1. Recognize startup training differs from corporate training
While they share similar training goals and objectives, professional development within a startup differs from that offered in a corporate environment and recognizing these differences is vital to success.
Large companies have entire departments devoted to recruitment and training, as well as big budgets to acquire and implement their programs. In other ways, startup job training programs can be designed and implemented easier at a startup because it lacks much of the bureaucracy found among corporations.
2. Set training goals and objectives
It will be difficult to implement an effective training program without first establishing the goals and objectives the program is intended to meet. What is the training program meant to achieve?
A few possible objectives of a startup job training program include increased employee retention, improved employee performance and better product and service offerings. Once the goals are established, the training program can be customized to meet those objectives.
Keep in mind that your objectives should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
3. Use established courses
A startup company is unlikely to boast the resources needed to develop an entirely original training program. Fortunately, a plethora of established Massive Open Online Courses and other online educational platforms are available from which to choose.
These programs can be applied in their original form, or the methodologies can be customized to meet a specific startup’s training objectives. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy and edX host thousands of fully developed courses that cater to a wide variety of industries and companies.
Many large corporations also offer their tech startup solutions for employee training to the public through MOOCs and other web-based resources. Company leaders shouldn’t be concerned about utilizing another organization’s training materials. Thanks to e-learning platforms, business organizations have increased their revenue by 42 percent.
4. Transform tenured employees into mentors
Mentorship is one of the most effective methods of professional development. After investing resources into training a startup’s earliest employees, those experienced workers transform into a training resource of their own.
By creating mentorship relationships between new and tenured workers, startups can ensure their training programs are even more effective without additional monetary investment. Employees also can be encouraged to take individual training programs and present what they’ve learned to their colleagues.
5. Provide Lean Startup methodology training
The Lean Startup methodology was developed to assist newly-launched small businesses in developing products in less time so they can rapidly determine if a business model is viable, saving immense resources that would otherwise be spent on unsuccessful ventures.
By providing everyone from senior executives to the front-line customer service agent Lean Startup training, teams can learn to become more agile and move faster, establish a common language and framework, explore new products without losing existing clients and reduce a startup’s risk and uncertainty.
6. Deliver visual presentations
As with so many other business functions, visual presentations are an ideal way to deliver a training course to employees. After all, half the human brain is devoted to visual processing.
While startup leaders might feel terror at the thought of all the adjustments and tweaks it takes to prepare a traditional PowerPoint presentation, they need not worry about their ever-so-precious time by using Beautiful.ai’s free PowerPoint-alternative presentation design software to illustrate their courses.
Not only does Beautiful.ai offer a variety of training presentation templates— saving even more time by simply customizing an existing training presentation— but users save time on designing each slide, as well. That’s thanks to Beautiful.ai’s special brand of artificial intelligence that automatically adjusts the design of our smart slide templates based on professional principles of good design each time new content is added.