Today is World Teachers’ Day and while we commonly think of teachers as associated with school, there are many ways you as a small business owner can teach and share your wisdom with others. Here are three ways to bring the spirit of World Teachers’ Day into your business:
- Implement a cross-training program for your employees. Cross-training employees to do each other’s jobs is a great idea for any small business. First, it creates a backup plan so if one employee is absent or on vacation, you’ve got someone to fill in for them. Second, it builds camaraderie among your team as they grow to understand how each job supports the others and the entire company. Finally, it can make your business more productive and efficient. Start by figuring out which employees should naturally learn each other’s jobs; then devote a short amount of time to cross-training each day. Finally, when employees are up to speed, have them regularly do the new tasks so they don’t lose what they’ve learned.
- Promote continuing education for your employees. Big corporations sometimes pay for their employees to get advanced degrees. For most small businesses, this kind of expense is out of reach—but that doesn’t mean you can’t help your employees learn. Look for low-cost or free opportunities for your employees to enhance their skills. These could come from your industry association or publication, local adult education or occupational training programs, or local colleges and universities. Have interested employees take online seminars or webinars, attend conferences and events, or even take online or offline courses. Give them time off to do so if necessary. You can cut costs and time by having one employee take a course, then come back and teach the others what he or she learned.
- Get involved in entrepreneurial education for youth. There are many organizations that help young people, from elementary school on up to college level, learn the ropes of business and entrepreneurship. Junior Achievement is one of the oldest and best known, but others include Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). Talk to your local chamber of commerce and community business organizations to learn about others in your area. Becoming involved in a youth entrepreneurship program is a great way to motivate and encourage the next generation of small business owners (and meet some pretty amazing young people).