Shop owners who come up with excuses to avoid spending the time or money to properly educate their employees are typically the first to blame their workers for mistakes and lapses in productivity. This article discusses the reasons why you should educate your staff and offers several resources for training.
By Mike Ukena
The cost-effectiveness of these classes is the real positive. Distributors usually charge a nominal fee that covers the meal and what I call student guilt—the phenomenon where if something is free, there is no guilt in just skipping the event. But if there is a cost associated with the class, it is more likely that you will show up. Distributors also usually make the time worth your while with special pricing on products and samples where appropriate.
Whatever you do, don’t wait to decide when a distributor sends or hands you a flyer for a class. They tend to fill up fast, especially with people who have been to other classes and know how they help. And if enough people sign up early, there is always the chance that the distributor will add another session.
The real advantage to attending classes presented by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) is that they are much more in depth and hands on. They are generally a couple of days long with plenty of time to work and discuss. Additionally, you get a chance to talk shop with people just like yourself from different areas of the country.
In recent years, the SGIA has had some success with a regional workshop program. They have taken the show on the road. Classes are generally held in screen-printing shops in the local mar-kets. These shops are selected because the owners have agreed to have people, even potential competitors, in their shops. They also are screened to make sure they have the room and equipment necessary to properly conduct the workshops.
These classes are well attended. I think there are several reasons for that. First, they are more local so they are more cost-efficient. Second, they are formatted so that they don’t take too much time. And third, I think a real shop is the best place to hold most workshops. Showing how something works in a classroom is good. Showing them how something works in a real-world situation is even better.
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