Tips for Startup Employee Training

People at a table in a meeting.

There's a lot that goes into making a startup successful but ensuring that you are giving your employees the training that they need to excel is one key ingredient. In this article, we'll take a look at five proven employee training tips that you can use to engage, motivate, and teach your startup's employees. 

Recommended: Read our review of the best employee training software for startups.

Employee Training Tips

1. Identify Training Needs

Providing your employees with helpful training starts with identifying both the needs of your company and the needs of your individual employees. First, consider your company goals and the skills that your employees need to make those goals a reality. For example, if your goal is to increase the average lifetime value of a new customer, providing your sales and customer support teams with customer relationship management is one way to align your training initiatives with the overall goal of your company. 

In addition to identifying the broad needs of your company, it's also important to identify the specific needs of each employee. Every employee is unique, and the training that will most benefit one isn't necessarily going to be the most helpful possible training for another. Get to know your employees to the point that you are able to pinpoint their deficiencies, then make efforts to fill in those deficiencies with targeted training.

2. Find Online Training

Online employee training has become increasingly popular in recent years, and there is a wide range of online training services that startups have available to choose from. While it's important to do your research before signing on to an online training program, these programs can offer a lot of value. 

Sales training, customer service training, marketing training, and leadership/management training are all types of training that can be found online. As for the format that these online training programs take, there is a wide variety of options. Some online training programs only offer pre-recorded lectures, while others feature live webinars and direct engagement.

3. Hire Training Experts

Hiring a sales coach or other employee training professional to come into your company and work with your employees is a great option to consider if you aren't sure where to start devising your own training programs. While it's understandable to assume that someone who is not deeply familiar with your company and its employees might not be able to provide the same quality of training as someone within the company, there are plenty of cases where an outside voice can offer a lot of value. 

If you feel as if you've taught your employees everything you know, bringing in a fresh, outside perspective may be the ideal solution. As with choosing an online training program, though, it is certainly important to do your research before hiring a training expert in order to choose someone whose expertise and personality alike align with your company's needs and values.

4. Utilize On-the-Job Training

Employee training doesn't always have to entail a scheduled and structured format. As a startup owner, you should always be on the lookout for opportunities to provide your employees with impromptu, on-the-job training, and you should instruct your managers and team leaders to do the same. 

On-the-job training addresses needs and issues as they arise, helping employees quickly overcome obstacles and preventing any issues that might come about from them not doing the job correctly. Most importantly, though, providing your employees with on-the-job training ensures a process of continuous learning where employees are constantly improving their knowledge and skills.

5. Implement Continuous Training

In many cases, new hire onboarding is the only training that an employee will receive when they join a company; once they've settled into their role, training far too often tends to cease. Research has shown that most people forget 50% of the information they are presented with within just one day. This means that if you don't provide your employees with any training beyond the initial training they receive when they first join the company, they aren't likely to retain much of that knowledge. Continuous training, therefore, is something that should be a priority for every company. After all, no matter how long an employee has been with your company, there is always room for more improvement. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is individual training better than group training?

One-on-one or individual training and group training both offer their own unique benefits. While individual training is likely to offer more value to a single employee, group training is something that can benefit entire departments in one stroke. Ideally, your company should probably implement both. 

How much does online employee training cost?

The price of online training will obviously vary depending on the exact service you purchase and the number of employees that will attend. Keep in mind, though, that, on average, companies across all industries spend about $1,678 per employee on employee training. It might not be cheap, but the benefits of online training are typically well worth the cost. 

How can I create my own training programs?

Developing your own employee training programs starts by identifying the needs of your employees and the company at large. Next, you'll want to set specific, measurable goals for the program and develop resources and initiatives that are centered around those goals. From here, the only limit is your own creativity. Strive to make your training programs as engaging and enjoyable as they are informative, and don't be afraid to think outside the box.