Thursday, September 10, 2009

Teach employees to fish... for training

You know how it goes, “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.”

Well, the same holds true when it comes to employee training. When you teach employees how to fish, or find training on their own, they’ll continue on the same path for a lifetime, or at least for the time they spend at your company.

Teaching employees to fish for training begins with a course in company culture. Only by fostering a culture that promotes education and skills training will employees feel that learning is not only encouraged, but a necessary part of their career.

Getting started doesn’t have to use up a ton of resources either. Encourage employees to fish, for training, that is, by implementing a few of these ideas:

  • Improve education from the inside out. Instead of having employees look outside to seminars and courses, give them opportunities to learn within the walls of your workplace. Something as simple as an in-house learning library can give employees the tools they need to make a difference.

  • Create your own trainers. Some of the best training resources are right there under your nose – you hired them. Create a peer-to-peer training program where employees share their expertise with others. Without ever stepping foot outside, you’ll be fostering teamwork, improving engagement and encouraging employees to seek out training on their own.

  • Embrace technology. These days, finding new learning outlets can be as simple as turning on your computer. From Twitter to online learning courses, technology has made learning more accessible, and affordable, than ever before.

  • Try something new. Start a new in-house learning program, like “lunch-and-learn” training sessions. Typically more relaxed and less structured than traditional training courses, lunch-and-learns are a great way to fit training into everyone’s busy day.

Sign up an employee for a training course, he’ll have training for today. Encourage an employee to seek out training on their own, and he’ll have training for a lifetime.

Any more ideas on encouraging employees to discover training on their own? Please leave a comment and let us know.

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