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."
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.
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.
© Copyright 2011 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.