Training doesn’t have to be expensive

Training doesn’t have to be expensive

by Amy Beth Miller, editor, Communication Briefings

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Those words are as true now as they were 40 years ago, when the United Negro College Fund adopted that as its motto. If you aren’t developing your team members’ minds, you are wasting their potential.

When we asked last month about your team’s No. 1 training need, 45% of you said “Communication skills, both written and spoken.” That was followed closely at 40% with “Teamwork. They have difficulty working together.” A few of you mentioned a need for training staff in technical skills and being sensitive to staff diversity.

If your team can’t communicate or work together well, it isn’t functioning effectively. Here’s how to boost skills even when the budget is tight:

  • Bring training to them. Instead of sending one or two staffers away to learn, bring the training to your entire staff. Hire a trainer, invest in an online learning system or sign up your staff for webinars or audio conferences. No one has to leave the workplace, so you won’t have any travel costs.
     
  • Share what you know. Invite your own in-house experts to present training sessions to the rest of the staff. Match each employee with a mentor.
     
  • Create a learning library. Designate a few bookshelves to resources that employees can check out to learn on their own. Ask for contributions of the best business books, buy training videos and self-paced study programs, or sign up for a subscription to a periodical.
     
  • Tap online resources. Create a list of blogs, podcasts and other informative online content for staff to access. (You’ll find a list of great communication sites in the Blogroll section of our Nitpickers’ Nook.) Of course, we hope you will invite your friends and colleagues to sign up for this free e-letter too.
     
  • Carve out time. Offer each employee a certain time, such as one hour a month, to learn or improve a skill. Example: Allow employees to work through the tutorials of their software programs.
Your tips: attitude

Last month we asked for your best tips to end the year on a strong note. We’re happy to share this advice from a reader:

“The attitude of one more step and five more minutes in any endeavor is the key to win,” replied Mukesh Sharma, a scientist with Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals. And if you haven’t been able to achieve the goals you set, don’t allow that to defeat you. “Victory in life is not determined whether you win or lose, but how have you struggled. If you can stand up with a stronger determination every time you fall back, you are victorious.”

We love hearing from our readers. We invite you to reply by email to our e-letter, or comment on our blog.

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Sign up for the free Communication Briefings e-Letter! Each monthly e-letter will offer timely tips and commentary on communicating more effectively in the workplace. This valuable resource will give you access to tips for speaking and writing effectively, motivating employees, managing your time, and much more!!

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