Training and Compliance for Small Businesses
There are more than 1.18 million businesses in Canada. More than 97% of them are small businesses and those same small businesses employ almost 70% of the country’s entire workforce.
There is a huge range in what is considered a small business, but any privately-owned enterprise with fewer than 100 employees is considered to fit the bill. These statistics come directly from the Canadian government, by the way.
No matter how small the business might be, it still has training and compliance needs that must be updated on a regular basis. Health and safety training for all is the bare minimum for everyone while other needs will change according to the industry, service area, or product being created. People who handle food or alcohol have different training requirements than someone working in a greenhouse and, even within that area, there is a huge difference in what is required if there are tomatoes, flowers, or cannabis growing within. We haven’t even mentioned first aid, CPR, or defibrillator usage as skills that must be trained and at the ready.
How do small businesses meet these demands?
Many put the onus on the employees themselves as a condition of getting the job. Bartenders and wait staff at restaurants are generally responsible for arranging their own Smart Serve and Food and Beverage Handling Course. It’s certainly an advantage for a teenager looking for their first job to take first aid and CPR to give them an edge. Employers are looking for certifications though, and it is a case of buyer beware when it comes to finding a course that meets all the regulatory requirements to issue certifications everyone can trust.
Other businesses hire for personality and aptitude first and provide training on the job. During COVID-19, this has meant moving training online as much as possible. Where required, in-person classes are often less than half the size which means more supervision and more scrutiny, which can be an effective, but stressful learning environment.
Mostly, though, small businesses rely on trusted, experienced employees to train new hires. In times like this, the vulnerability this exposes is very apparent. Losing an experienced employee to illness or death is always emotionally devastating, but to a small business, it can be financially devastating. Thinking about knowledge transfer and replicating skills to multiple employees is something that should be on every small business owner’s mind. Creating a formal training process with as much video and documentation as possible is the best business protection there is.
Puneet Rai is Edusity's sales lead in Canada. You can follow him on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/puneet-rai-he-him-436a0a4a/ or book a demo to see the Edusity LMS with him here https://www.edusity.com/business