It’s always at this time of year that I remember just how important education is and how it’s crucial that it doesn’t just end when we finish school, sixth form, college or university.
Personally, educating my staff is a huge part of my daily business function, not only in terms of educating them about new clients and changes in the day to day running of the office, but instead, educating them about things that will enhance their working performance.
There is often a clear divide between employees that are eager to learn and delve deep into consuming new information, and those that simply want to come in, do the job and go home.
"One type definitely outweighs the other!"
Every single one of us should be aiming to better ourselves and our knowledge of the industry we work in (business owners included), and providing such training for your staff can be an extremely attractive benefit when you’re recruiting. This often results in enticing a higher calibre of candidates, giving you the pick of the lot!
Nowadays, we benefit from many different training options; it can be done countless ways, both online and offline, so there’s something for everyone. Some people prefer to learn in large groups, while others would rather sit quietly and learn alone. We’re very lucky to be able to accommodate everyone’s different learning styles.
So what are the benefits of each training type?
Online Training Courses
Most online training courses, be they webinars, previously recorded courses or even podcasts are great for those who prefer to learn independently and through listening. Sitting down at a computer, listening and watching the course while taking notes can be a really effective way of learning.
This type of learning doesn’t tend to work so well for those who are easily distracted as they’ll often switch off while watching.
Attending Face To Face Courses
Attending live courses where you are surrounded by other learners that you can work and interact with is often one of the preferred methods of learning. This means that the course can be really interactive, and questions can be asked there and then.
These types of courses also make it easier to relate what’s being learnt to specific businesses as you can work with the trainer and the other attendees to apply it specifically to your workplace.
For those who learn through reading rather than listening and who prefer to touch and feel the materials they are using, giving them notes to read through and a workbook to complete can be a good way of getting them to take on new information.
It’s a more old-fashioned way of learning, but can be extremely effective when used on the right person.
Some people will prefer to work one on one with a trainer, sometimes this may only be relevant in certain circumstances, for example when learning about a system that is unique to your business.
The expert knowledge of the trainer who understands the system and you or your employee who knows the business can be one of the most powerful ways of not only learning, but also of implementing.
There are, of course, plenty of other ways that we can teach and learn, however, the most important thing to remember when training your team and yourself is to implement!
Unless you’re going to return to work and put what you’ve learnt into practice, there really is no point in going in the first place!
Make sure you liaise with your team about what sort of training they prefer before sending them to complete it, because sending certain staff members to entirely the wrong sort of training could cause more harm than good!
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!
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