Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Singapore’s economy, contributing to more than half of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employing about 70% of the workforce. However, SMEs also face many challenges in today’s competitive and dynamic market, such as talent attraction and retention, innovation and productivity, digital transformation and customer satisfaction.
One of the key ways to overcome these challenges and achieve sustainable growth is to invest in employee training and development. Employee training is not only a legal requirement under the Skills Development Levy Act, but also a strategic tool to enhance the capabilities and performance of the human capital in SMEs.
Why Employee Training Matters for SMEs in Singapore
Employee training is the process of providing your employees with the skills, knowledge, and competencies they need to perform their jobs better, adapt to changes, and grow professionally. Training for employees can take many forms, such as on-the-job coaching, online courses, workshops, seminars, mentoring, etc.
Employee training is essential for SMEs in Singapore for several reasons:
- It improves employee performance and productivity. When your employees are well-trained, they can do their tasks faster, more accurately, and more creatively. They can also solve problems more effectively and handle challenges more confidently. This translates into higher quality of work, lower costs, and higher customer satisfaction.
- It enhances employee engagement and retention. When your employees are well-trained, they feel more valued, motivated, and loyal to your company. They also have more opportunities to advance their careers and achieve their potential. This reduces turnover rates, which can be costly and disruptive for SMEs.
- It boosts your competitive advantage and innovation. When your employees are well-trained, they can keep up with the latest trends and technologies in your industry. They can also generate new ideas and solutions that can give you an edge over your competitors. This helps you stay relevant and profitable in the dynamic market.
- It supports your compliance and risk management. When your employees are well-trained, they can comply with the relevant laws and regulations that apply to your business. They can also avoid or minimize mistakes and errors that can lead to legal issues, fines, or reputational damage. This protects your company from unnecessary risks and liabilities.
How to Implement Employee Training Effectively
Designing an effective training programme for your employees may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some steps that you can follow to create a training programme that works well for your SME:
- Assess your training needs. Before you start any training program, you need to identify the gaps and opportunities in your current workforce. You can do this by conducting a training needs analysis (TNA), which involves collecting data from various sources (such as performance reviews, surveys, interviews, etc.) to determine what skills and knowledge your employees need to improve or acquire.
- Set your training objectives and budget. Based on the results of your TNA, you need to define the specific goals and outcomes of your training program. You also need to allocate a realistic budget for your training expenses, such as trainers’ fees, materials, equipment, venue, etc.
- Choose the right training methods and providers. Depending on your training objectives and budget, you need to select the most suitable training methods and providers for your employees. You can choose from various options, such as internal or external trainers, online or offline courses, formal or informal learning, etc. You should also consider the preferences and learning styles of your employees when choosing the training methods and providers.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of your training program. After you implement your training program, you need to measure its impact and results. You can do this by using various evaluation tools and methods (such as feedback forms, tests, quizzes, observations, etc.) to assess whether your employees have learned the desired skills and knowledge, and whether they have applied them to their work.
- Review and improve your training program. Based on the feedback and data from your evaluation process, you need to review and improve your training program regularly. You should identify what worked well and what didn’t work well in your training program, and make the necessary adjustments or changes to enhance its effectiveness.
Government Supported Training Programs for SME
As an SME owner, it can be tough to develop your own employee training, especially if you’re already take on multiple roles or responsibilities in your business. But there are a bunch of SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) programs and initiatives that can help you develop and enhance your employees’ skills and productivity.
- Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ): The WSQ is a national credential system that equips employees with skills that are demanded by the current and future economy. This helps to enhance the capabilities, productivity, and growth of both individuals and employers.
- SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG): SSG provides funding and support for employees to attend relevant courses that are provided by approved training partners. This helps employees to develop the skills they need to succeed in the job market.
- Career Conversion Programme (CCP): The CCP is a government-funded program that helps companies to retrain their employees for new roles. This is necessary when the demands of the job market change or when the company is restructuring.
See the full list of programs and initiatives on SkillsFuture Singapore’s website to meet your training needs effortlessly!
Funds and Grants for Employee Training
Sending employees for training can be a financial burden for SME owners. But the Singapore government has a few funding schemes to help out. These schemes subsidize course fees, so you can get the training your employees need without breaking the bank. Here are some options to consider:
- Enhanced Training Support for SMEs (ETSS): SMEs can get up to 90% of their course fees subsidized when they send their employees to training courses supported by SkillsFuture Singapore. Help your employees stay ahead of the curve and keep your business competitive.
- Career Conversion Programmes (CCP): CCP can help SMEs retrain their employees for new roles. This is a great way to adapt to changes in the job market or to restructure your business. CCP can help you save money on training costs and keep your employees productive.
- Skillsfuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC): SFEC can be used to fund workforce transformation programmes. This includes job redesign initiatives, career conversion programmes, and skills framework-aligned courses. SFEC is a great way to invest in your employees’ skills and help your business grow.
As SMEs in Singapore navigate the complexities of the modern business world, investing in employee training is no longer a luxury but a strategic necessity. The benefits of providing comprehensive training programs are undeniable – from improved employee performance and enhanced customer satisfaction to increased employee retention and adaptability to technological advancements.
HRMLabs is a powerful Human Resources Management System that designed to meet any company size needs. With HRMLabs Training Management System, SMEs can streamline training initiatives, track progress, and empower their workforce to reach new heights of productivity and excellence.