In some cases, employers run job training programs as remediation for poor performance. In other cases, they recommend training courses to introduce new policies, procedures or processes. On-the-job training can take many forms, including traditional instructor-led lectures held in meeting rooms, distance learning events held using web-based conference software and self-paced alternatives that participants complete on their own schedule. Free self-paced alternatives abound to meet different needs.
Small-business owners shouldn’t assume they can’t provide career development opportunities to their employees. With access to the Internet, anyone who wants to develop professional skills can enroll in free, online courses at websites such as Alison.com. Veterans can take advantage of Microsoft’s Get Job Skills: Elevate America Veterans opportunities. Employees typically want to learn how to improve their ability to:
- Lead their company to achieve its strategic goals
- Manage time more effectively to maintain a work/life balance
- Manage team activities to reduce employee turnover and improve morale
- Define company strategy effectively
- Solve problems efficiently
- Make decisive decisions
- Manage project resources, activities and budgets
- Handle stress in an appropriate manner
- Communicate to executives, peers and subordinates more succinctly
- Take innovative approaches to solving complex problems
Using Internet resources such as MindTools, Harvard Business Review, SkillSoft and Brainshark, employees can read case studies, answer questions and use examples to learn how to solve problems in their own day-to-day operations. You can too!
Whether an employee needs help in writing reports or creating complicated spreadsheets, Internet resources can provide remedial assistance. Consult the Grammar Girl website if you need some quick and dirty tips on grammar, punctuation, word choice or style. Can’t figure out how to build a simple time sheet and create a formula to convert time into numbers of hours worked? The Microsoft Office Training website provides free courses on their popular products. Learn more about Six Sigma from the American Society for Quality using a free case study.
Most employers provide some type of orientation training to their newly hired employees. This typically involves an instructor, facilitator or manager explaining how work gets done at the company and what the new employee needs to do to succeed on the job. Training professionals develop courses and reference materials that convey knowledge about job roles, expectations and procedures. Additionally, employers may assign a coach or mentor to guide the new employee in his first days on the job. Learning about the policies and required procedures early on prevents mistakes and costly or hazardous errors later on. Many functions require professional credentials. For example, organizations such as the Occupational Health and Safety Administration provide training courses and educational programs help workers at every level recognize, avoid and prevent safety and health hazards in the workplace.
The time has never been better to learn a new skill, connect with other colleagues or plan a career path. Internet resources make a wide variety of job training programs available to employees at every level of an organization. Spread the word to all employees! Whether you’re looking to gain expertise in project management, learn a new language to take another job abroad or simply want to update your skills in your current job, finding a resource to help is easier than ever.
Reference: Jacobs, Ronald L., and Michael J. Jones. Structured on-the-job training: unleashing employee expertise in the workplace. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1995. Print.