Keeping employees up to date on learning critical skills and processes is a crucial part of their success. But oftentimes, the training process costs managers a lot of time (and money). Fortunately, there are easy-to-use tools and platforms that allow for self-training.
We asked entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) what tool or platform can be used to teach team members (via web or mobile) a critical skill or process without having to be present every time. Their best answers are below.
If you don't have an operations manual for the business that incorporates video, you're probably spending a lot of time explaining things. Take your team through the skills or processes you need them to learn on screen capture or regular video so they can see the step-by-step processes and hear your voice. Then take it up a level and ask them to record their own practice and upload to Dropbox for your review. – Kelly Azevedo, She's Got Systems
Lynda is a great tool for teaching team members key technical and software skills. The format also allows your team members to be able to refer back to key elements of the training after it has been completed so that it can act as a reference manual and a skills refresher. – Christophor Jurin, Construct-Ed, Inc.
3. Google Docs
As we hire more people, I realize that I repeat myself quite a bit. With Google Docs, I can write down processes and others can easily comment on them when they have questions or need clarification. I then make edits based on those comments and the processes improve. It's a great way to create guides that are as dynamic as a small company's work environment. – Bhavin Parikh, Magoosh Inc
Related Article: 7 Affordable Productivity Tools for Small Business Owners
4. Screen Capture Videos: Screenflow (Mac), Camtasia (PC)
Screen capture videos are great to walk through a how-to process in a step-by-step fashion. You can then upload those videos to YouTube (as unlisted or private). Refer each new employee to that link. The software tools that allow you to be on camera for the human touch while showing your computer screen demo are called Screenflow (for Mac) and Camtasia (for Windows). – Joshua Lee, StandOut Authority
We use many tools and platforms, but one of my favorites is WorkFlowy. This is a simple, inexpensive app (they even have a free version) that is great for many purposes, such as making lists and task management. It’s web-based, so team members can use it to collaborate on projects even if they’re in different places. – Shawn Porat, Fortune Cookie Advertising
We use guides.co for some of our operational processes and for educating our customers on what we do. It's a great way to set up a document, see exactly how far people are working through that doc and track how many times they come back so you know what they understand, what they don't get and what they aren't even looking at. – Liam Martin, Staff.com
Our 70-person social media agency is completely remote -- everyone works from home offices. So we rely daily on HipChat as the lifeblood of communication. All of our phone calls are augmented with a HipChat room conversation, which saves all shared comments, links and files, so that anyone who missed out can go back and read everything. – Alec McNayr, McBeard Media
Related Article: 6 Business Apps That Helped Us Get By in 2014
With its calling, screen share and note taking features, Join.me is the perfect tool to host and save virtual meetings in a way that enables easy knowledge transfer. It's quick, it's simple and some of Join.me's best functions are completely free for users. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep
Coursera is a fantastic "massive open online course" platform. They have tons of informative online classes about entrepreneurship principles, data, statistics and more that can be extremely valuable to build up the skill set of your team and encourage everyone to keep adding to their knowledge base. Our team members are often recommending interesting classes to one another. – Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
There’s no specific tool I use, but our team is set up on Treehouse, which is a tremendous resource everyone can use to continuously learn tricks and tips when it comes to the web, mobile and app development. – Brock Stechman, DivvyHQ
We use Teamwork as a great project management platform. It helps assign tasks to individual team members and is great for managing teams virtually. We have utilized Teamwork to upload specific process documents in a "Ruby Media Group Intranet" Folder to make it easier for new employees to view our internal process and systems. We also upload videos on how to use specific technology for onboarding. – Kris Ruby, Ruby Media Group