Internal training valued highly by small business employees

Here, we look at the internal training methods small companies employ to ensure a satisfied workforce.

New research released from Coursera finds that nearly 70 per cent (69.49 per cent) of millennials (22-35 year olds) in the UK put the value of internal training, offered by employers, as one of their top three reasons to move jobs.

With this in mind, it stands to reason that internal training should be high up the priority list of businesses that employ staff.

Lizzie Benton of Datify says that the company invests an entire afternoon for internal training for its staff. ”Beer & Brains’ Friday is an internal training scheme we have implemented from day one, which allows everyone the opportunity to learn something new and develop their skills,’ she says.

‘This is vital for us as a full service agency and enables us to be competitive in our industry.’

The company’s team members feel confident because they are equipped with knowledge about the industry and every aspect of its services, but they also feel fulfilled because of the inclusion of other training schemes from outside experts who can provide the company with extensive insight, says Benton.

Reward and recognition

Recognising that effective reward and recognition can significantly improve staff retention, increase productivity, develop employees both personally and professionally, and ultimately foster a better company culture, Fletchers Solicitors developed a dedicated reward and recognition strategy. This includes a Spotlight Scheme that identifies the top 10 per cent performing staff in the firm and invests £2,000 into their personal development, and monthly awards that allow employees to nominate peers. The firm fosters an open-arms culture, where everyone is offered equal access to benefits and training, regardless of their position.

A focus on great leadership and investment in leaders’ development also ensures the senior team play a key role in the progression and development of the firm and its staff. Development incentives include a training academy, mentoring programme, career progression and appraisals that don’t only score on performance, but on all of the firm’s values.

Internal training to develop broader skills

Charlotte Wood works at reputation management company Right Angles. ‘Having just graduated a month ago, internal training is obviously very important to me personally, but also the team as a whole as it encounters growing pains.’

Founder Paul Blanchard is very keen on internal training; he sees it as being of huge importance. ‘However, instead of spending time and money on traditional training methods, he has created a culture where being wrong isn’t bad,’ says Wood.

Being part of a small business is a great way to develop a broader set of skills as the job roles often aren’t as defined, she adds.

The team meetings that introduce employees to new skills, for example Twitter ads, are informal and encourage questioning. ‘Paul is also always happy to provide books on whatever topic we feel may be of interest to our job, and he encourages us to be proactive on this front.

‘All of these help to maintain the training culture, as it is constant instead of being introduced in infrequent meetings that are often long and boring.’

Further reading on training

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