3 Activities to Jump Start Your Business Literacy Training Program

Business literacy training for employees

The language of business is numbers and processes, so it makes sense to teach your employees how to speak the language. But, pulling back the curtain and sharing numbers with employees can be scary.

Instead of sharing your balance sheet and income statement with everyone, start with one of these high-level activities. You’ll increase awareness about how much it really costs to operate a business, improve everyone’s personal finance skills and build appreciation for each other.

Team Building Activities

  1. Who’s Responsibility is it to _____?

Employees with the mindset of “that’s not my job” is the kiss of death when creating a great culture and a financially strong company.

This easy, number free training activity will create a team atmosphere when employees see how the process works beyond their job and how the departments can work together to solve problems.

  1. Top 5 Expenses

Employees assume the difference between the price you charge a customer and how much they are paid is the cash leftover for you to spend on personal expenses. Did you know the general public believe businesses earn a profit of 36% when the average is only 6% across 212 industries? Why is this? One of the big reasons is employees do not know the difference between revenue, profit and cash.

This safe, quick training activity will help you teach your employees how much it really costs to operate a business without sharing your income statement. It’s a great way to bridge the gap between your employee’s perception and your reality.

  1. True Cost of Payroll

Most employees do not know how to read their pay stub, so they rarely understand how much cash the company needs to make payroll. Employees see their net paycheck and assume that’s all the company paid. In reality, the company paid much more.

This short training activity will help your employees better understand their pay stub and how much payroll really costs the company. Employees will have a new appreciation for the payroll process after they see the process includes more than simply multiplying their hourly rate by their hours.

Business Literacy Training Tips:

  • Never share more information than you’re comfortable with. Sharing numbers is like adding spices when you cook…a little goes a long way. You can always add more later but you can never unshare the information.
  • Connect the information to something your employees are familiar with.
  • Show employees how they affect the numbers directly and indirectly.
  • Tell the story behind the number.
  • Be positive.
  • Make it fun and interesting.
  • Bring the training to life with props and games.

    Learn more about starting a business literacy program in your company.

Bottom line

It’s impossible to teach every number and process in one training session, so start small. Business Literacy takes time, but it’s worth it.

Instead of focusing on one radical change, make small improvements every day. Overtime, you’ll notice a drastic change.

The above training activities will help you move the needle toward building a culture of employees with an owner’s mindset.

The conversations will improve because you’ve shared the language of business. You’ll start to hear things like “I found a way to reduce our office cleaning supplies by 10%.” Or “the price I calculated seems too low. We will not make money on that project. I’ll run the numbers again.”

After you’ve seen how business literacy training moves the needle, you’ll be hooked. Small wins add up to big change.

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