Misc

What are the Best Ways to Provide Education to Employees?

Education written on chalkboard

 

Keeping up with the times and ensuring employees stay educated on products, solutions, service, sales, and tools is a necessary part of any successful business. There are a number of ways for IT companies and MSP’s to provide training to their employees; but which ones are best?

In the ways of education there are expensive options, free options, and everything in between. The key is finding the right combination of training that will keep your employees focused and provide you the best bang for your buck, especially considering even free options have a cost of lost time and billable hours.

Webinars Webinars are a dime a dozen these days. It could be very easy to fill up a week with webinars, whether from vendors, media organizations, training organizations, or a host of other outlets. Webinars are typically free and can offer a wide range of education on products, services, solutions, selling, or industry information. It is important when utilizing webinars to educate employees, that you choose topics wisely. Make sure that the topic will cover specific needs for that employee and your business.

Events Events host a barrage of breakouts and panels specific to educating businesses on specific subject matter. There are many free events and a number of events that require a fee. Though events can provide an additional live dynamic and peer interaction over other forms of education, the biggest downfall is the amount of time required for an employee to be away from the office. This must be taken into consideration when planning education and thus requires additional costs to the business. For this reason it is necessary to make sure that presented content will be pertinent and worthwhile to the employee or employees you are sending.

Bonus/Incentives A number of companies have created bonus and incentive programs for employees who utilize distance learning or individual learning on their own time. Though these programs sound good on paper, they are quite often met with a lack of motivation or follow through.

Paid Training Organizations There are quite a few training organizations in the IT and MSP channel. These companies pride themselves on providing very specific training to employees on an as needed basis. Though these training organizations can have a significant cost, often times they provide more structured content and curriculum, allowing employees the most education for their time. One advantage is many of these organizations can host a training at your facility. If utilizing this service you can host your own mini event for employees on a weekend or after hours minimizing the amount of time employees are away from the office.

Books – It is a good idea for all companies to have a required reading list. Many businesses make mandatory reading a part of their new hire process and even require testing based on this required reading. Whether you take it to that extreme or not, publishing a reading list and creating an in-office library is a great way to provide additional education to employees.

The best education opportunity to provide to employees is a good mix of any of the above. By just focusing on one of these areas, you will be doing a disservice to your business. Each one of the listed education paths provides both pro’s and cons to the business. Though rather than looking at the financial costs as cons of educating your employees, it is best to see those as investments into the business. Create a plan for each employee that spells out a calendared plan of education, and make sure that everyone sticks to it.

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