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9 ways to give your SME employees the training they want

Online training is a win-win situation. Of course, it's wonderful for businesses – especially small businesses – who want their employees to improve their skills and develop their thinking. But the real winners are the employees, who now have a rainbow of colorful workout opportunities available to learn any skill, follow trends and add to their resume.

How popular is educational content? An informal survey of @Salesforce recently asked: What value have you most embraced in your career? More than half of the respondents chose lifelong learning, demonstrating their innate desire to learn and continually improve. But interestingly, they do not always have the opportunity. The 2017 SME Trends report shows that 62% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe that training would help them improve their operations, but they feel embarrassed in their ability to get the training they need. need. This is attributable to costs (60%), time (56%), perceived lack of training available on the subjects they need (48%) and impractical hours (46%).

But it's not necessary to let these obstacles get in the way. There are * tons * of ways to promote your learning – and your employees' learning – through training and professional development. Here are some of our favorites.

Webinars Online

(Price: Free of charge)

If you're ready to dip your toe into the workout pool, you can start with something basic like an online webinar. Webinars are usually offered by companies to highlight their own product-related topics. So, if there is a product or company that you often use for work, there is a good chance that they will have a series of sessions to help you get the most out of it. Webinars usually last 30 to 60 minutes and you can watch them from your computer or mobile device. Even if you can not do the date and time scheduled, sign up anyway and you will get the recording at the request of the session … Then watch it whenever you have a few minutes of stop.

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YouTube videos

(Price: Free of charge)

Looking for training on something that is off the beaten path? Try YouTube, where you can find a training video for everything under the sun (a quick "how-to" search on YouTube generates more than 260 million results). You will have to choose carefully because these videos may or may not come from a legitimate source, but you can not beat the convenience.

Growing with Google

(Price: Free of charge)

Recognizing the transformative power of training and education, Google has just announced Grow with Google, a site offering free training, tools and other resources to help you get started. refine your skills, career or business. Check out courses on growing your business, scaling your startup or learning code. They have a lot of resources on the site, but they also offer in-person training. Click here to see if Grow with Google arrives in a city near you.

TED speaks

(Price: Free of charge)

Who says professional development has to be boring? TED conferences are short, powerful presentations designed to encourage ideas and innovation. There are TED conferences that cover just about every industry, and they are a great way to learn new insights and ideas. Although they may not give you a new skill, they will certainly open up new perspectives and give you plenty of talking points for networking. Start by doing a quick search using keywords from the industry, or check out the 25 most popular TED conferences of all time.

Sal Cats of Khan Academy

(Price: Free of charge)

If classroom learning is no longer your thing, try Khan Academy, an outstanding organization dedicated to providing "free, world-class education to anyone, no matter where." Khan not only offers high school and college courses, but also Sal Cats, a series of interviews with accomplished entrepreneurs and CEOs. What a great way to be a fly on the wall for conversations with Elon Musk, Richard Branson and other great minds that can inspire you to go further in your career.

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Thought Leadership Podcasts

(Price: Free of charge)

Podcasts are an easy (and interesting!) Way to keep up with trends, ideas, movers and influencers in any industry, especially if you run out of time. Download one on your mobile device and get the most out of your travels. Although they are not skill-based, podcasts often challenge our thinking and offer excellent discussion points for meetings and networking events. Looking for a good place to start? Search for some keywords from your industry, or try some of our favorites: How I built this, Between Leadership, and a tribe called Yes.

Software Training Course

(Price: free and not included)

Online software training courses have become increasingly common as companies realize the demand for quality content. More formal and in-depth than a webinar, online training allows users to work at their own pace; The sessions are interactive and often involve a test or quiz at the end to demonstrate mastery. At Salesforce, for example, we have developed our own site dedicated to training users on our products and services. Find out for yourself: Trailhead, the free and interactive training site on all things Salesforce. (There's even a new Trail Mix specifically designed for small businesses!)

Certification Course

(price tag: paid)

If you are in a technical or industrial role, a certification may offer some validation that you really know your business. The obtaining of a certification usually involves a thorough and paid training course that includes a review in the end. If you pass the exam, here is another line on your resume! Perhaps even better: companies often claim that their certifications lead to promotions and increases. On this note, see what obtaining a Salesforce certification can do for you.

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Conferences of the industry

(Price: free and not included)

Industry conferences offer a fabulous and dedicated way to focus on learning and professional development. Yes, you usually have to pay for travel expenses and perhaps your conference pass, but you will have the choice of courses, panels, events and targeted networking opportunities. Take the annual Salesforce Conference for example: Participants at the Dreamforce Full Conference often tell us that the price tag is easily justified by the amount of learning that they receive in return. However, if price is a problem, keep in mind that many conferences nowadays offer a limited access free pass and / or broadcast live most keynotes and popular sessions.

Why every SME should adopt eLearning

The business world is filled with high expectations and growing demands. To remain competitive, small businesses and their employees must keep pace with our evolving technology, while delivering 100% job performance. Fortunately, today's many online training opportunities can help you keep pace with hectic work schedules, expand your skills, and make the journey more enjoyable. eLearning … Efficient, Exciting, Electrical .

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