Not too many years ago I used to run a small part of an organization. My part was to run the technical support division. The business was a success but since we were only around 10 people I needed to really plan when to let the personnel develop their skills.
The least amount of personnel I needed was eight, so I could only spare two at the same time.
Support personnel are tricky employees to keep happy. Due to the hard work they are doing during the day, working with a lot of customers and with many different problems, they tend to leave after a year or two. This makes it very challenging for a manager, since it often takes a while until they are educated enough to do a productive job. It is therefore important to understand that the more you can do to keep the employees longer, the more you as an employer will benefit.
One of the goals for employees is to develop their skills during the position they have. This can be done via practical work, off-site training, E-Learning, etc.
There are several reasons why employees are leaving the premises less often for education. One of the reasons is that it is now possible to gain a lot of knowledge by just sitting in front of the computer.
One use of E-Learning systems is to use them to communicate over Internet for education. A lot of people use it for so called “Webinars” to hold a seminar over Internet.
Usually the time for running a small webinar is limited to one hour. By having the employees take a break during the day to join one doesn’t disturb the daily work too much. It probably even gives them so much satisfaction that they have accomplished more work after the day is to end than they would have without the webinar. The good thing about having them participate in an online seminar is that you are able to take them from the seminar if the workload for the other employees become too high.
Even though I see benefits in E-Learning, it is important to understand that a lot of employees feel very enthusiastic about going to an off-site training. It is therefore important to have an education plan for each employee and make sure that you can feed them with different activities during the year.
Of course the training they get during their employment should be in the best interest for your business as well as for the employee.
All plans, documentation of performed training and skills gained can easily be documented in a good E-Learning software. By documenting everything, including your education plans, you are able to have good control over what knowledge you need for the business as well as what skills your employees have.
When your employees have attended a training session it is important that they do something with the new skill to keep the knowledge. One good thing is to have them teach the others what they learned during for example a weekly meeting. It is also important that they are expected to document what they learned for others to read whenever they need that knowledge.
It is not always easy to follow all trends on the market but by trying out some new trends every year you will be able to see how you can benefit. One trend that do not change, however, is that your company is built up with people. It is important to keep them happy and to keep them in your organization as long as possible. By doing this you will be able to focus more on your core business and therefore be able to be ahead of your competitors.