Many companies refer to their employees as their greatest asset. The skills, experience, education, and training of their workforce are what gives them their competitive advantage. But, when it comes to training, cost is often a major factor in how frequently, and how well, organizations ensure employees have the right information and resources to do their jobs. If you’re relying on training provided by organizations or experts from outside your company, these often come with a significant price tag, and may not precisely fit your needs. If you are relying on the expertise of your own employees, you must consider the costs of their time—time that could be spent serving your company in other ways. Here we look at several options for free or very low-cost training for your employees.
The federal government, as well as state and local governments, promulgate a number of health and safety requirements. This can add a significant burden on some businesses in terms of keeping staff up to date and trained on the requirements. But these same government entities also often provide free resources to help employers with compliance. For example: OSHA’s Training Requirements and Resources page.
Chambers of Commerce
Many local Chambers of Commerce offer free training on a variety of business-related topics. For example, the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce in Connecticut offers free training to the general public on topics like “Basic Grant Writing,” social, and the use of a number of Microsoft products.
Massive Open Online Courses(MOOCs) have been around for several years and offer a wide variety of convenient, quality training for little or no money. As Justin Grensing wrote in a 2013 piece for Brass Magazine, “MOOCs offer cheap or free education from thought leaders and internationally renowned experts at top universities from around the world, and this content is accessible from a student’s home computer.”
Employee training is key to developing the workforce that will give your business an edge over its competitors. But training can be costly, especially for small or newer businesses without a lot of disposable income. Fortunately, there are some options to find training for little or no cost if you know where to look.