As a small business owner you will know that when working with your team you will sometimes notice that there are gaps in the knowledge that you need to propel your business forward. You have a few choices on how to handle the gaps in the knowledge and skills of your team members.
Identify Future Needs
It’s important to know what types of work projects, future products, etc., are planned for the future so that you can work out any potential gaps in the first place. If you know what is happening in the future you can let your team know so that they can be aware of the types of knowledge and skills that are going to be needed, if they want to work on these.
Offer your existing team members training to meet your anticipated future needs. You could also consider offer training to your contractors, or insisting that they undertake training, however this can be risky and you need to ensure you don’t break the contractor/employer barrier for the taxing authority in your state or country.
Hire Someone New
If you have identified knowledge and skills that are needed now or will be in the future, get serious about making a better job description of the skills needed in order to find a new contractor or employee.
Make Them Aware of Training
You don’t always have to offer training, but if you know what type of skills you would like for your team to have, you can at least tell them about training that is offered by other people and encourage them to undertake it.
Send Them Regular Industry News
Create an email list just for your team where you’ll share industry news, training, and other things that can help them learn more about the industry that you’re all taking part in.
Offer Regular Feedback
When anyone on your team submits a project, be sure to try to send feedback about what they have done well and what they should improve upon. This is a good way to encourage their own learning on their own time at their own pace.
Encourage Team Members to Work Together
Some team members are going to know more than others. If you make it possible for them to collaborate on projects together, one can learn from the other and they can all encourage and problem solve together.
It’s important from day one to set expectations for your team members, if they realize that continuing education is important to you, and they like working with you, they’re going to be a lot more likely to seek out training for themselves.
Handling gaps in the knowledge and skills of your team is something that every business owner must deal with, whether you hire only contractors or employees. There are ways to deal with it that work well without offending anyone. Just be honest and up front at all times and your team will follow your lead.