As 2015 comes hurtling to an end, it is the ideal time for business-owners to look ahead towards the New Year. This is especially important when you consider that small business optimism in the UK has been squeezed in recent times, with the National Federation of Independent Business reporting a drop of 1.3 points to 94.8 between October and November. This belief is underpinned by concerns over stagnant sales figures and dwindling consumer confidence, with fourth quarter statistics hinting at a retail slowdown.

How Training can drive your Business forward in 2016

With this in mind, it is important that business-owners seek out low cost and organic ways to expand their ventures. Employee training is one such measure, as well-rounded and knowledgeable staff members not only work efficiently but also drive a happy and productive environment. Here are three steps towards using training as a viable way of driving your business forward: –

Identify key areas for Growth

This is the first necessary step when using training as a vehicle for driving commercial growth, as it drives a responsible investment that delivers an optimised return. Start by monitoring existing performance levels within your business, breaking this down into different departments and teams. It is also wise to source feedback directly from employees themselves, who can reveal their perceived gaps in knowledge and areas for growth.

This data can be compiled to create tailored and effective programs of learning, which are focused on each individual and the gaps in knowledge that exist within specific teams.

Determine your preferred Teaching Methods

When looking to train your employees, it is also important to identify viable teaching methods. There are many different ways of learning, and while some individual prefer classroom learning others are more comfortable with experience or computer-based education. While your budget may not allow for multiple courses across these mediums, you should gather a consensus from your employees to determine a preferred teaching method.

You should also consider prioritising e-learning where possible, as this is the most cost-effective and delivers flexibility to students. If you need any further guidance, visit here to inspect the latest in training methodology.

Identify and Eradicate Barriers to learning

At this stage, you will have identified a core selection of training programs and preferred methods for learning. The next step is to identify any additional barriers to training, some of which are universal and others which are unique to each individual firm and employee. Computer literacy and resistance are examples of universal issues, for example, which can usually be overcome by the integration of specified software and regular interaction with employees.

There are other, company specific issues that may relate to your industry or marketplace. Additionally, there may be factors that impact on individual employees, such as a lack of motivation or previous, negative experiences. These need to be addressed individually with each individual employee, as you look for ways to inspire them and reinforce the benefits of training.

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