First Person: Train Your Employees Without Doing It Yourself

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From my experience of nine years as a small business consultant and six years as a small business owner, I know that most commonly as small businesses, we hire people because they already have expertise so we don't have to train them.

We do this for several reasons obviously. First off, we may not know the details of the job we want done so we need someone who does know from past experience and training what to do. So the first benefit is that they know the job and can advise us as well as implement what we need done. The other benefit is how quickly they can get rolling.

However, no matter how well you planned, there come times when you find you don't have a trained employee to do some function that must be done in your business. As the owner or executive in your small business, you must get them trained. Here are some of the reasons.

Why Training Is so Important

- People will often founder without guidance and training, which costs you time and money to fix what they messed up

- Quality will suffer until your employees figures out what to do on their own

- If you help them build a strong foundation early, they will become contributing members of your team sooner

- The better the training, the higher your customer satisfaction

- The better the training, the higher you employee job satisfaction too

As a consultant on profit and expense control consulting jobs, one of the main areas I looked to save my clients money was in ways to cut overtime and wasted labor costs.

High Costs for Failure to Train Someone for the Job

- You lose customers because they are feed up with your poor quality control

- Bad press happens when customer complaints reach the media or a blogger

- Increased payroll because the employee now doing the job has to take much longer to figure it out

- Missed deadlines with customers will also cause customers to leave

- Dissatisfaction and lower morale because the employee is overwhelmed and frustrated results in lower productivity and lack of extra effort

- Dissatisfaction and lower morale amongst other employees who are frustrated over the extra time, problems and interruptions to their work caused by this untrained employee

We already addressed the issue that you personally may not know how to train the employee is a particular job, or you are overwhelmed yourself so have no time to do it. The following are ideas to help you find and provide the training and support your employee may need.


- Consultants with expertise in the areas you need it can develop the procedures, checklists and flowcharts you need then to train your staff .

- Trade schools and colleges offer courses for almost anything you need to get someone up to speed.

- Government training programs, such as I came across in El Paso and in Pasadena, where they have the Foothill Workforce Investment Board, can custom design training if it will improve employment opportunities.

- Hire a part-time experienced person to train and coach your employee.

- Online courses can sometimes provide more flexibility.

- Physical courses come with manuals, workbooks and CDs/DVDs.

Consultant vs. Trade Schools and Colleges vs. Government Programs

Hiring a consultant is usually the fastest way to get the job done. Though it may be your most expensive solution, a consultant custom fits everything to you and your needs. It will be done immediately saving you the costs for failure. In the long run, those savings contribute to your bottom line profits and to your sales volume.

Because trade schools and colleges typically have courses running in a pattern, the one(s) your employee needs may not be available when you want it. Additionally, they normally take a semester, i.e. several months, to finish the course.

Foothill Workforce Investment Board is one of the government agencies I've come across that provides workforce training.

As a small business owner, you may lack the skills to do the training for your employees in a particular job. Nevertheless, untrained employees cost you time and money. Mistakes require rework which eat up time and payroll expense. They also risk alienating your customers which can cost you sales. This article includes six approaches to provide the training your employee needs. This will enable you to ensure quality, on-time deliveries and happier employees.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

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