HUMAN RESOURCES ❖
Why Not Get Creative With Training?
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www.welcometobakersfield.org email: email@example.com 110 Bakersfield Magazine
We’ve all heard that worn-out viding a meal, save money by old adage, “Nothing worthwhile making it a “brown-bag” lunch; comes easily; work, continuous however, be sure to inform emwork, and hard work, is the only ployees well in advance. And, way to accomplish results that remember, required lunch time last.” Well, it may be old and meetings obligate an employer corny, but it’s just as true as can to pay an employee for the time be; if you want things to turn in the meeting, and in some inout well, you have to constantly stances, premium pay may apply. work hard and be vigilant to enFurthermore, eliminate all, or sure everything remains on track. at least some, of the expected So if your business is running “goodies” such as tote-bags, smoothly and all the employees pens, notepads, etc. While and managers seem to know how these items are useful, they to handle every situation, great! By Holly Culhane, SPHR are not absolutely essential to But in this tough economy with the learning process. Again, scarce resources, how do you continue the trend workers need to know ahead of time so they if you no longer have money for training? can provide their own paper and writing instruUnfortunately, when businesses start cutting, ments from their workstations, or possibly plan training is often one of the first items on the to take notes in their planners. chopping block. This is especially true when If your company has employees attending things have been going well and it appears that multiple-day workshops out of town, consider everyone is knowledgeable about not only their using a local trainer and move everything injob responsibilities, but also the latest legisla- house. If the trainer comes to you, you may be tion on harassment policies, discrimination, able to train more personnel with less cost. Also, etc. However, we all know that every company if you are bringing in an outside trainer, consider experiences turnover and new employees may contacting other organizations to see if a joint not be as well-informed as current workers. training session is advisable. If several employAlso, human resources policies, especially those ers participate, training costs can be shared by influenced by legislation, are constantly chang- all involved. Also, take advantage of technology ing and forever in flux. and utilize video-conferencing, telephone-based Bob Alberstadt, Senior Vice President of training, learning management systems, or virtual Aera Energy, LLC, asserts, “Training and classrooms. Even if your company doesn’t own development of employees is an ongoing, long- such a system, you may be able to arrange to term investment designed to produce improved use one at a local educational institution or other business results. While short-term adjustments communications vendor. to the pace of this investment may be necessary Additionally, be sure to keep the lines of in difficult economic times, the quality and communication open with frequent e-mailing, commitment to employee development should newsletters, and regular memorandums. Make remain constant.” sure all employees are notified of new policies First and foremost, if your company is con- and are updated on an on-going basis. Utilize templating training cuts, remember that some peer teaching and match new workers with training may be required by law—such as safety, seasoned ones to ensure they learn company sexual harassment, or risk-management training. procedures. Figure out what your most critiAdditionally, according to the article “Training cal training needs are—whether it be product on a Shoestring,” from a January 2009 issue of knowledge, policies and procedures, or experiHR Magazine, “poor economic times translate ence with new technology, and then offer the into more discrimination claims.” information as efficiently as possible. Therefore, it is imperative that you not only Also keep in mind, if your business has slowed keep employees up-to-date on the latest legis- somewhat, this could be the perfect time to adlation concerning harassment, wage and hour dress training issues that have been relegated issues, ethics, various types of discrimination, to the “back burner” during boom times. So, etc., but just as importantly, that you be able to brush off those materials on problem solving prove employees were trained in these policies and decision making and give employees a reand procedures. When lawsuits are filed, an fresher course in areas that haven’t been tackled organization must have a concrete paper trail for awhile. It’s an excellent use of company for submission in court. time and can empower workers who may be So, just how do you lower training costs and struggling as they adjust to changes. still keep your bases covered? For one thing, get Remember, the economy—like everything creative! Make sure you eliminate elements that else—is cyclical. What is down now, will defiare unnecessary. For example, forgo the snacks, nitely be up again. Just hang in there and know beverages, lunches, etc. Schedule workshops that better times await. and sessions for times other than mealtimes. If you must have a lunch time training because Contact Holly Culhane of PAS Associates for it is the only time available, rather than pro- your human resource needs, (661) 631-2165.
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