This article was updated on June 18, 2018.
Employees aren't a static resource. In order for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to succeed in a world of heightened customer expectations, it's critical that they implement employee education plans that help foster long-term growth and develop core skills. Put simply, you need training resources designed to bolster SMB success. Here's a look at five potential front-runners:
An offshoot of LinkedIn, Lynda.com is a subscription service that provides access to hundreds of hours of tailored video learning content. Plans include unlimited access to courses on everything from web design and development to marketing and sales and even more broad-spectrum topics such as business and professional development. According to the official website, all instructors are "industry experts" who are passionate about their work. In addition, employees can learn on their computers, tablets or mobile devices and switch as needed between devices without losing content. The clearest advantage here for SMBs is the wealth of topics you can access combined with the ability to learn anytime, anywhere.
The idea behind SCORE is to help mentor SMB leaders and owners, in turn empowering employees. SCORE offers a combination of webinars, live events and a mentor matching program to help entrepreneurs find guidance from someone who has similar experience and can offer actionable advice. SCORE is a free, confidential service that offers critical training resources.
The Association of Women's Business Centers
According to the National Women's Business Council, women-owned businesses account for over one-third of privately-held U.S. businesses (though they're at a serious disadvantage when it comes to access to capital). As a result, it's worth investing in the women in your organization to maximize training opportunities and business returns. The Association of Women's Business Centers (AWBC) offers webinars, research and yearly conferences to help empower female employees and business owners.
Online Training Courses
While video training offers a straightforward way to deliver SMB employee training, sometimes you need something more interactive that also lets you track and monitor employee progress. There are now a number of online training course suppliers — such as Kineo, Cegos and Skillsoft — that offer training materials to meet your needs. Here, SMBs are best served by research: Look for an online training company whose offerings match your brand's tone and style in addition to covering the necessary material. Ideally, you want employees to actively engage with online training resources rather than simply going through the motions.
As noted by eLearning Industry, cloud-based training is also a viable solution for SMBs. You might want to consider something like Mindflash, which lets you import training materials, invite new trainees and track completion rates, while also integrating with Salesforce. Other solutions, like TalentLMS and Litmos, provide similar capabilities if you prefer to craft your own courses.
Are you ready to take your employee training initiative up a notch? SMBs are well-served by Lynda.com, SCORE, the AWBC, online training courses and cloud-based solutions.
Featured on SPARK
SIGN UP FOR THE SPARK NEWSLETTER