Business training isn’t something that a lot of people think about. In fact, it usually seems to be the exclusive field of bosses and big companies that make their employees attend training days. This type of training has a bad reputation. Most people see it as something their boss makes them do that takes up valuable time they could spend doing something else. But this idea needs to change.
In fact, business training is any type of course that improves the knowledge and skills you have and use at work. This can cover a wide range of fields, and have a number of benefits for your life and your career. Training can give you that needed qualification to go for a new position or job. It can give you the confidence to try new things at work, show off those skills, in a way that garners positive attention. And you can also use business training to move out of your current working environment and into one that’s more in line with your values and what you want to bring to the world.
There are a lot of different business training courses that you can take. This includes, but isn’t limited to training in the following practices: sales, public speaking, industry specific practices, best practices, marketing, and social learning. Basically, whatever you want to learn to advance your career, you can find a training course that teaches it. And if you have a plan for your career, a clear idea of where you want to go, exploring training courses can be a great way to start down that path.
What business training courses would you be interested in? How can you use them to take control of your life and advance your career?
Committing to Ongoing Learning
Business training is incontrovertibly linked to the idea of ongoing learning. Whether you are an employee or an employer, if you want to be successful than it’s essential that you constantly upgrade your skills and knowledge. Ongoing learning, or lifelong learning as it’s sometimes called, involves the activities you undertake to improve yourself throughout your life. These activities can be focused on improving any aspect of your life, from your work to your personal or civic life. And committing yourself to these types of activities can be the difference between a boring, ordinary life and an extraordinary one.
The benefits of ongoing learning for employees are varied and include the following:
- Increased learning capacity.
- It improves work prospects.
- Increased sense of confidence and capability.
- Better health.
- It fuels creativity at work and in the home.
- A reduction in stress levels.
- There is some evidence that education can increase lifespan.
- Learning makes you open-minded.
- It encourages more social interaction, with all the benefits this offer.
The benefits for employees include both work and life advantages that can be pivotal in determining your quality of life and satisfaction. However, there are also a number of benefits that businesses enjoy when they institute ongoing employee training and education. These benefits include:
- Employees are constantly upgrading their skillset in ways that benefit the business.
- Staff are generally happier when they feel as if they’re progressing in their career and life.
- The business can keep up with industry changes or changes in technology.
- Training can reveal employee’s skill gaps or weaknesses.
- Businesses that train their employees can move forward constantly and not become stagnant.
- Training employees means that promotions are likely to come from within the company.
- The company will get a good reputation and be able to attract new talent.
Where to Find Business Training
Thanks to technology, there are more options for business training than ever before. Once, this type of training meant spending time crowded into classrooms and listening to someone talk. But because of technology as well as the competitiveness of this field, there are now almost too many options. This means you can attend conferences or workshops based on the skills you want to learn, read books by experts, or sign up online. Online courses are gaining in popularity these days because of the convenience. This means that these courses are now just as good if not better than some in person courses. They’re also a great way to expand your learning when you’re too busy to fit in classes at a specific time each day, because you can study whenever you have the time.
Essential Types of Business Training
You can also choose what types of skills or knowledge to learn or practice with your business training. Hard skills are specific abilities that can be taught and measured. They include things like learning to use specific computer programs, math, writing, or accounting. In contrast, soft skills are less tangible and harder to measure. These include essentials such as communication, leadership, public speaking or problem solving skills. Both of these types of skills are essential in life and in business. But generally speaking, the majority of business training courses you might consider will be related to soft skills.
The final type of training available includes technical skills. These are skills that you might need for a specific job or position. They’re usually practical skills related to scientific, mechanical or IT tasks. For instance, if you’re in a medical field you will probably have to learn how to use the equipment that’s relevant to your job and your patients’ needs. If you need this type of training to do your job, your employer will probably supply it or you will have the skill before you even apply for the position. From there, you will probably need ongoing training to keep up with changes in technology or to further expand your understanding.
What are Hard Skills?
As stated before, hard skills are specific and measurable skills that you need to do your job. They’re important because without them you can’t do your job properly. Usually, you will need to have a specific set of hard skills to be considered for specific jobs and careers. For example, if you want to be in IT you need to understand computers and their programs, and if you want to be in accounting you need to have a good understanding of the tax code and mathematics.Hard skills are usually considered to be the least important type of skills. However, this assertion is context specific. For instance, if you’re in the bomb squad it’s probably more important that you know about bombs than have social skills!
Hard skills are more often taught in formal learning environments, though this is rapidly changing. From the very beginning of your school life you were probably taught how to add, how to write a sentence, and how to mix chemicals for a specific reaction. These are all hard skills of varying worth. Many university courses are based on teaching the hard skills that students need for specific careers as well. So if you need this type of training to be accepted for the job you want, you should probably start doing your research as soon as possible.
What are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are harder to quantify. They’re abilities and knowledge and skills that aren’t absolutely necessary for your job, but will immeasurably benefit it anyway. They’re also much harder to teach, which is why gurus and schools and learning centers keep springing up, all of them claiming to hold the secret to learning a skill quickly and easily. Do not believe these claims ever. No skill worth learning is easy to learn, and usually these kinds of claims will only lead to you wasting your time and your money on something that can’t come true.
There are countless benefits to learning soft skills and they depend on the type of business training you take and how you apply your new skills t your life. Generally speaking, these courses will help make you more confident in your work practices. They will teach you new ways of doing things that are more effective than your old practices. And they just might help you get that promotion or better job that you’ve been aiming for.
The Most Important Soft Skills for Employees
As an employee, you will probably have access to a range of courses and business training sessions that can improve every aspect of your career. Some soft skills you might consider learning include the following:
If you aren’t already a leader of a team or department, this type of business training can teach you the strategies and practices you need to take this role in your working life. This could lead to a promotion, or just teach you how to stand up for yourself at work and in your life.
Learning the basics of customer service isn’t just for people who work in shops. If you have to deal with customers or clients, you can benefit from customer service training. This will teach you the techniques and approaches you need to keep customers happy and willing to come back or recommend you to their friends.
As an employee, sales skills and training are essential. They will teach you communication secrets, presentation skills and make you stand out in almost every career field.
Is creativity important in your job? Do you wish you had the ability to come up with novel solutions or innovations? Do you think you could get ahead if only you could be more creative in your working life? Creativity has recently been touted as one of the most important qualities an employee can have. It will allow you to adjust to changing markets and career demands, and it will probably bring you a lot of pleasure as well.
Verbal and written communication
Are your verbal and written skills as good as they could be? Reading and writing may seem like very basic skills, but in reality a lot of people struggle with them. This is a shame, because they’re absolutely essential to your career and life success.
The Most Important Soft Skills for Your Business
If you’re a business owner or manager there are a number of soft skills that your employees would benefit from developing. Learning these skills will give your employees the knowledge and ability to do their jobs better, which will make your business more efficient and productive. It will also give you the opportunity to expand your businesses practices if that’s what you want to do, and will keep your business relevant and up to date in these changing times. Making the commitment to ongoing business training as an employer is vitally important if you want these benefits for your business, and it will also make your employees happier and more loyal to your business at the same time.
Some of the most important soft skills that you can encourage your employees to develop include the following:
Unless you want to do absolutely everything and make every decision as an employer, you need to have people who can lead teams, departments and projects. Otherwise your time will be spent rushing from one task to the other without accomplishing anything important.
Many workplaces today are competitive places in which team members are pitted against each other to get ahead. But this is a highly inefficient model. The only way a business can survive over the long term is for the individual employees to work together for the good of the company. A lot of businesses talk about the benefits of teamwork without actually encouraging the practices in the workplace. By making teamwork a part of your business training, and taking steps to practice the strategies, you will avoid that and be able to enjoy the benefits of these techniques.
Business training courses that teach your employees communication techniques will not only help to create better relationships in the workplace, it will also ensure better relationships with clients and investors as well.
Problem solving involves a complicated set of skills that many people struggle with. Although it might seem as if people should naturally have this skill, a lot of people struggle to design and implement good solutions. No matter what type of business you have, solving problems will be at the center of it in some way, which is why you need to ensure that your employees have the problem solving skills they need through business training.
Teaching your employees time management through business training doesn’t mean that they’ll learn how to multitask. In fact, this is a highly inefficient way to work. Instead they’ll learn how to manage their time more effectively, with tools that will make them more productive and eliminate time wasting activities.
How to Choose the Right Trainers
If you’ve decided that business training is a good way to expand or improve your business and your employees, then you need to move on and choose the right trainers. This can be more difficult than you might think. There is a plethora of business training companies out there at the moment, all of them offering great courses and promising success and great benefits. This stage of the process can be a little intimidating. Most of the companies look about the same and deciding between them can seem almost impossible. But it doesn’t have to be that complicated. If you’re struggling with this decision, there are several ideas that you should keep in mind.
The needs of your company
The first criteria for choosing a business training course or company is the needs of your business. This applies whether you’re a business owner, or an employee. Before you choose a business training company, have a good look at the business you work for. What skills are missing? Where are the gaps that you could learn to fill? What does your business need? Choosing a business course that will answer that need is a good way to get a promotion or recognition for your dedication and loyalty to the company.
Your products and processes
If you’re a business owner, your products and processes are more important in this process of elimination than you might think. For employees, these elements can also help to determine what type of business training you sign up for. If the business is based on selling products, a public speaking training course or one that teaches sales skills would be useful. And if most projects are carried out in teams, you might want to look at leadership or teamwork courses.
Employee skills and knowledge
. As an employee, look honestly at your own skills and identify any gaps or places you would like to improve. If you’re going to pay money for a training course, it might as well be one that helps you overcome one of these weaknesses. And this applies to employers as well. If your employees don’t have specific skills that your company needs, consider training someone to fill this need rather than employing someone new.
Life experience is just as important as academic credentials, so explore the history of the people who are offering the business training course that you’re considering. In this context, you want trainers who are experienced in business themselves, who know what it takes to succeed, and perhaps even those who have set up training for their own staff. You wouldn’t hire a business manager without experience in business, so apply this rule to your business trainers as well.
Don’t be fooled by this. The credentials of your trainer and of other staff at the business training company are vitally important. Find out what training they’ve done themselves, because if they’re not dedicated to their own ongoing learning, chances are they won’t be dedicated to yours either.
This is an obvious one. If you’re happy with the results of your first business training course, chances are that you’ll sign up for another one in the future. So make sure that the training center has courses that you want to do immediately, and some that you might be interested in later as well. This will make your ongoing learning simpler and easier.
Hard skills vs soft skills
If you’re looking at business training courses, chances are that you’re interested in soft skills. But this doesn’t have to be the case. If you want a specific set of hard skills that will advance your career or allow you to make some changes, make sure you choose a company that specializes in these hard skills, or one that’s professionally associated with it. This also applies for employers who want their staff to learn new hard skills as well.
There are many different types of business training courses that are designed to improve your business practices and employees no matter what field you work in. You can also undertake some training on your own, to improve a skills or knowledge base in an area that’s been bothering you or holding you back. This type of training is part of an ongoing process of learning, a vital element to business and life success. Without this commitment to long term improvement, you will find yourself stuck in place, unable to move forward because you don’t have the skills or the confidence. And that isn’t what anyone wants from their life or from their career.
What business training activities would you find most useful in your life? Share them with us in the comments below.