5 Ways Small Business Owners Can
Train and Develop their Employees

As a small business owner, the most significant part of making sure your business continues to run smoothly and successfully is maintaining high standards for your employees and offering options to help them reach those standards. Training your employees can range from incentivizing them to continue their education to in-house software training.

Training employees can be expensive in the short-term but consider it a long-term investment that will provide plenty of benefits later. If you are not sure where to start with training, keep reading to learn five ways to train your employees to be more efficient and effective.

Incentivize Them to Go Back to School
(You Could Even Help Pay for It!)

One of the most effective ways to encourage growth and development in your employees is by encouraging them to go back to school part-time to earn a graduate degree or certification. Business courses will teach your employees the best ways to earn profit for your business and help make them more effective workers.

One of the best ways to incentivize your employees to go back to school to earn a degree is to pay for it — or at least part of it. Graduate school can be expensive, so your employees will be more willing to go for a degree if they know they’ll have some financial support to back them up.

If covering partial tuition is not in the cards, another option is to help them pay for some of the prep courses involved in applying for graduate school. If you want your employees to succeed while they’re in school, you should invest in them while taking exams like the CPA or GRE that determine what schools they can attend. Becker and Surgent are two companies that offer prep courses for the CPA to people applying to graduate school and can be an affordable option for small business owners encouraging their employees to further their education.

Use Apprenticeships to Train Lower-Level Staff

Apprenticeships are a great way to train your lower-level staff to suit the exact needs of your company. By identifying the kinds of skills or talents that your business needs, you can find employees with those skills to train in-house who can rise through the ranks to hold important positions as a part of your executive team.

The best part about using apprenticeships to train your employees is that the entire process is completed in-house. This means that whoever you train will be tailored to meet the exact needs of your business, and they will be extremely familiar with how your business operates. You can even use senior employees who you know are skilled in certain things to train apprentices so that you know they will be able to meet all of your expectations for them.

Come Up with A Training Plan

The training you give to your employees should be designed to match the needs of your business. Pay attention to the different aspects of your business that might need help, and identify ways you can help your employees improve on skills where they might be lacking.

To start coming up with a training plan, you should begin by writing down all of the things you would like your employees to learn. This way, you can structure the training to begin with the most basic elements of what you would like them to learn and work up to more advanced material. Every training session should build on what your employees learned in the previous session.

Before you begin training your employees, you also need to identify any knowledge gaps in your team. You can’t start training under the assumption that everyone is starting with the same knowledge. While one employee might be particularly skilled in one thing, another might have strengths in other things. It is important to acknowledge these differences and to compensate for them in your training by making it accessible and understandable to all of your employees.

Have Your Employees Help Each Other

Your greatest training resource for your employees is your other employees! Nobody outside of your business can understand how your business operates better than you or any of your employees, and your senior employees will be able to provide specific details about their job that you might not be familiar with yourself.

You can encourage your employees to help with training by providing them bonuses and training material to use. If you ask them to come up with training materials on their own, you’re likely to get better results from the training, but you’ll also need to pay a bit more in return.

Provide Regular, Consistent Training Sessions

If you want to train your employees to be more efficient and effective, you need to make sure that the training you provide is frequent and consistent. Many people learn best through repetition, and by hosting training sessions consistently, training material will be kept fresh in your employees’ minds. If you do not conduct your training frequently enough, or if you do it without a schedule, you run the risk of ineffectively training your employees and possibly making them less productive.

Another part of hosting consistent training sessions is developing a schedule for meetings that won’t be too disruptive to your business. Avoid calling in all of your staff at once for training to instead focus on key parts of your business that need it most.


Training your employees is a fantastic way to invest in the future of your business. Employees that you help train will be extremely loyal and dedicated to your business, and they will be much better equipped to work with you than employees who haven’t had training.

Training can get to be a bit expensive for small business owners, but there are many affordable options that can prove to be beneficial to your employees!