Volume 12, Issue 4 - May 2011

AMD Headlines

Providing Employee Education for a Resurgent Market
by John Crowder

It is 2011, many of us are still here and most of us share similar challenges. The downsizing of our organizations is the most obvious. Various departments are thin, if not totally eliminated. We have reduced our payrolls down to the best and brightest, but that doesn’t mean they know it all. The stakes are much higher today and to assume we know it all is the beginning of the end. Despite reduced resources we have to continue developing our people and find new, efficient ways to do so.

Investing in Training Will Pay Off
Studies have shown that companies that invest time and money in employee training and education tend to maintain a competitive edge over those with little or no training budget. Well-trained employees are the key to the success of any business enterprise. Whether it is initial training for new hires or sustained training for experienced employees, the return on investment can be great.

As the U.S. economy continues its slow upward climb there will be some companies whose recovery will outpace their competitors. These companies will probably require an influx of new employees to keep up with the demand for their products. New employees will require education and training in company operation procedures, the millwork industry, sales principles, techniques, and a host of other subjects to strengthen their skills. So, how do we accomplish this task?

Well, finally, it appears that help has arrived!

Concluding a multi-year effort, the Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD) has not only upgraded the content of its training modules, it has delivered them in an electronic format that fits today’s organizations. A brief overview of the educational components is refreshing.

"As the U.S. economy continues its slow upward climb there will be some companies whose recovery will outpace their competitors."

The Content
Two courses are offered—Millwork Principles and Practices and Principles of Professional Selling. Millwork Principles and Practices is an excellent introduction to the residential construction industry. It addresses topics such as the history, language, specifications, wood and non-wood alternatives. The Professional Selling Series is unique, comprehensive and applicable to any industry. Far too many individuals have accepted sales positions to support themselves until they get real jobs. Well, ladies and gentlemen, the Professional Selling Series illustrates just how sophisticated the position is—it’s an art and science—and a far cry from just another box of donuts. Ten modules are explored in great detail and include the psychology of selling, decision motivators, relationship skills, communication techniques, leading (helping) your customer, managing the effort, managing a team, researching opportunities, and much, much more. Yes, this is definitely more effective than a box of donuts.

The Format
Not to favor one child over another, but this may be the best part. Here is how it works:
1. It’s all online, giving you literally 24/7 convenience and efficiency.

2. Modules are designed to be interactive in a one-to-one environment with the employee.

3. Each module can be completed in one or multiple sessions. Your employees can complete portions as time allows, bookmark their positions, and resume at the same points later.

4. As an employer you purchase as many hours as you want. They never expire and, when activated, contain all current updates. Also, once you obtain hours, what you choose to activate and for whom is up to you.

5. Once activated, the registered employee has 12 months to complete that module. Once completed, that same employee has reference access to that module as long as they work for you.

6. A training manager of your choice is provided access to monitor activity by each employee, making it easy to manage your investment.

Finally, someone acknowledged our challenges and met our needs.

John Crowder serves as president and CEO of Milliken Millwork Inc. and as AMD second vice president. His opinions are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect those of this magazine.




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