How to Give Your Non-Exempt Employees the Training They Need

Odds are, you have a diverse mix of employees. They work in different departments, span generations, hold varying levels of seniority, live across the country, and each file under a different employment status. As such, you’ve probably developed some sort of scale that determines how much of your training resources each type of employee requires. How often do those that live across the country, for example, need to be flown in for in-person trainings? Do older employees need extra hours of training to learn new technology? Whatever the case, you’ve probably set certain training parameters for each employee.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at non-exempt employees and where they usually fall on your training program’s sliding scale. How much are you currently investing in your non-exempt employees, and is it enough?

What’s a non-exempt employee?

First, a little clarification: what exactly is a non-exempt employee? Broadly speaking, non-exempt employees are hourly workers, but the term also includes contract workers, interns, temporary workers, and trainees. What makes non-exempt employees different is that they’re covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and must be paid overtime (1.5 times their regular rate) any time they work more than 40 hours per week. When it comes to training, this is a huge consideration. Any extra hour of training suddenly costs 1.5 times more that it normally would, which adds up fast depending upon how many non-exempt workers you employ.

When non-exempt employees receive inadequate training.

It’s natural for you to be wary of over-training your non-exempt employees, not only because it’ll cost you, but also because they typically don’t stick around very long. Whether it’s a summer barista job or working retail part-time during college, non-exempt employees are notorious for collecting cash and then moving on.

However, giving your non-exempt employees inadequate training has costly implications. For many companies, non-exempt employees make up a large part of their workforce and are responsible for the majority of customer-facing interactions. In 2012 alone, 75.3 million workers in the United States age 16 and over were paid at hourly rates, representing nearly 60% of all wage and salary workers.

As Zeynep Ton reported in the Harvard Business Review, trying to pinch pennies by lowering training costs typically doesn’t work out in the long run. He compared well-performing retailers, such as Trader Joe’s and Costco, with their less successful competitors and found that, among other benefits, they offered better employee training. What’s more? Employees at these companies also had lower turnover, which meant that management saw a higher return on their training investment.

Giving every employee the training they need.

In order to give all of your employees, including non-exempt employees, the training that they need, you may think that you need to do an overhaul of your training program–more in-person trainings, more technology, etc. Turns out, it’s much more simple. In fact, the answer is in the palm of your hand: mobile devices.

Mobile devices are the great training equalizer–these days, nearly all of your employees have one, which means that you you simply need to make your training content available on those devices. This isn’t a significant investment, but it’s an effort toward consistent, long-lasting performance support. Beyond just a quick two-day training, your employees will have the information that they need to answer questions on the job. They’ll feel more supported and in touch with your business, simply by pulling out their phone.

The bottom line:

All of your employees, regardless of status, deserve quality training just as much as anyone else. With one platform that allows you to easily publish mobile-optimized training content, such as Inkling’s cloud publishing platform, you can push out content to your entire workforce with one click. While technology can sometimes discriminate one group of employees over another by hindering access, mobile devices democratize the training process. Take advantage of that, and make sure that your employees–especially your non-exempt employees–get the training that they deserve.

To learn more about our cloud publishing platform, Inkling Habitat, request a free demo from our sales team.

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