Small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) invest more and more in the further training of their employees, as was revealed by a survey carried out by the TechConsult market research company among 400 German businesses. 89% of interviewees are already offering their employees particular training courses. One quarter of managing directors think that computer and internet based e-learning is an alternative to traditional courses where attendance is required. Social skills are becoming increasingly important too.
Just 9% of those companies interviewed think that there is no need for further training and therefore do not offer it. In general, this applies to small companies. In very small companies there is often a lack of money and time in order to carry out further training. In general, half of all decision makers in SMEs want to increase further training in their companies. One third want to invest in training courses and offer them to employees during their working hours.
In particular businesses make use of cost-efficient and effective training courses. Thus, many of the companies interviewed count on interviews between colleagues and superiors as well as learning by doing. SMEs also use external training courses and seminars and workshops offered by several institutes or academies. One in two companies wants to invest in e-learning in future.
Besides specialized knowledge soft skills such as social competence and communication skills are becoming increasingly important. One quarter of SMEs offer in-house courses on team work and self-motivation and twenty percent make use of external consultants. The objective of such courses is to improve team and project work in companies and customer service and make them more professional. In particular service providers such as banks or insurance companies, which have close contact with clients, train employees in social skills.
The above survey was carried out in the course of the “Microsoft trend barometer for SMEs” panel study. On behalf of Microsoft in this survey TechConsult analysed the economic and political framework, aspects of business management as well as the use of information technology in companies with up to 500 employees.