Setting up your learning and development (L&D) plan isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Every big corporation has one. You’ve probably worked for an employer who had an onboarding training plan for you when you started your job as well as orientation and ongoing training in place. It is essential to have such a plan because it helps transition new people into the company and it also improves employee retention. (losing employees due to lack of training has a very high cost to any organization)
I know what you are thinking… big corporations have the funds to hire L&D experts and trainers. Small businesses don’t. You are absolutely right. Having a whole training department that develops courses, seminars, workshops, employee and client onboarding is fantastic. And it fits the needs of a big corporation. Small businesses, however, do not need training management departments. And the reason does not come down just to money. It’s about needs. Small businesses do not need heavy-duty training programs because they do business in a very different way and at a very different scale than big corporations. An L&D strategy for a small business looks differently and serves specific needs of that small business. It is also more agile – easier to update, easier to maintain, and easier to expand.
What are some of the advantages of developing an L&D program for your small business:
L&D has multiple purposes
For example, you can use a demo video of your product to train your team, market your product to potential clients, and educate your existing clients about your product. A low-key, low-cost, lively demo video which is well presented and organized will give your business an edge and a positive dynamic.
L&D lets you think about your product from a client’s perspective
You’ve heard the saying that if you can explain something to a two-year-old, then your message is clear enough for everyone else. Same goes for your product or service. If you can summarize and explain it to someone who is not an expert in your industry, your message will be clear to your clients too. Creating a simple infographic or a manual which you can share with a wider audience, will provide you with valuable feedback on your product or service.
L&D will save you time
Establishing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for your team, spending time to properly train your staff, creating an employee handbook, outlining an orientation for new employees and clients, creating demo videos that are easily accessible, uploading a learning course on a cloud for your employees and clients… will all help your efficiency. Instead of repeating the same instructions to all team members every time you are in a certain situation, you can outline these instructions in a document they can refer to when needed or when you are not available. It will also help avoid confusion and will put everyone on the same page.
The above are only a few of the advantages of having a learning and development program in place. Small business L&D is easy and cost-effective to set up and maintain. There are tons of free apps and tools that produce professionally looking learning pieces you will be proud to share.