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For the small business owner or entrepreneur having a wide set of skills in different areas of business practice can mean the difference between success and failure. The Alison Learning Path in Essential Business Skills focuses on key skills that every business owner or entrepreneur needs including an ability to lead, work well with others, communicate your thoughts clearly, negotiate business deals, mentor others, manage time well, display a professional image, interact well with clients, solve problems and employ relevant mathematical reasoning.
The Alison Learning Path in Essential Business Skills is a sequence of courses that focus on key skills such as project management, customer service, basic accounting theory, introduction to human resource management, change management for guiding a business and employees through periods of change, and effective communication and interpersonal skills for conducting successful team meetings and presentations.
Courses in this Learning Path
Introduction to Modern Human Resource Management
The free online course Introduction to Modern Human Resource Management will introduce learners to practices and procedures used in modern human resources (HRM) departments. The course outlines the processes HR professionals go through to ensure they have the right employees at the right time to make sure the company is both productive and profitable.
The course first introduces you to the seven main roles that HRM plays in business and why, in a constantly changing world, the HRM function is key to success. You will also learn about the array of skills needed to deal with a variety of HR situations and the challenges facing HRM today. Strategic planning is necessary to tie company objectives with HRM objectives and the course covers the steps in the development, writing and implementation of strategic plans, and how those plans should be developed. The course also introduces you to the employment cycle: from recruitment and selection, to job analysis and performance appraisals. Finally, the course introduces the concept of diversity and multiculturalism, discusses the diversity aspect of business, and why multiculturalism is so important to ensuring a healthy organization.
This free course will be of great interest to all HRM professionals who would like to learn more about modern human resource practices and procedures, and to all learners who are interested in HRM as a career.
2-3 Hours50 Points
This course introduces the body of theory underlying accounting procedures. It puts the core practices and principles, covered in the previous courses, into a framework of theoretical concepts. This free online course will give learners an understanding of the theory behind the accounting process and will help learners make decisions in diverse accounting situations as is provides a logical framework for accounting practice. This free online accounting course will be of great interest to entrepreneurs and business professionals who would like to get an understanding of the theory behind the accounting practices that we use day today, and to any learner who is interested in accounting as a future career.2-3 Hours50 Points
Project Management - Project Feasibility and Life Cycle
The free online course Project Management - Project Feasibility and Life Cycle explains what a project is and how the roles and phases within a project are broken down. It also describes the process of evaluating projects in the early stages and the decision-making processes used to determine whether or not a project should proceed. The course begins by introducing to you how a project comes into being, starting with an explanation of what a project is and how it results from ideas, responses to problems and planning. It also looks at the role and influence of the key players that will be involved in the project.
The course then looks at how feasibility studies are carried out, and in particular reviews how technical, social, political, environmental and financial feasibility studies are explored and assessed. You will also learn about decision making tools covering the financial returns and risks associated with the project which allow management accept or reject a project. You will be shown the various ways of organising the life cycles of projects and what the project manager's job consists of. The final section of the course looks at the issues and challenges specific to software development projects, how these differ from other types of projects and the evolving methods being used in this sector.
This free course will be of great interest to professionals working in the area of project management who would like to learn more about project feasibility and project life cycles. The course will also be of interest to learners who may be involved in getting a project approved or who are working on any stage of the project life cycle.
2-3 Hours50 Points
Customer Service Training
Good customer service is vital for all businesses, large or small. It can have a direct impact on customer loyalty and where potential customers choose to spend their money. Simply put, the higher quality customer service you provide, the higher level of customer satisfaction you will enjoy, and that will translate into repeat business and more revenue.
This free online course from Alison introduces the basic concepts of customer service and dives into effective customer service techniques and practices. It will benefit anyone who deals directly with a business or organization’s customers.
Gain thorough knowledge and understanding of customer service practices and become confident in handling enquiries, complaints, and communications.
1-2 Hour50 Points
Change Management - Guiding Principles and Practices
The free online course Change Management – Guiding Principles and Practices will introduce you to the principles of change management while also providing you with examples of change management in practice. Even though change management is a relatively new field it possesses a significant body of theory. You will learn the key terms and phrases used within the field and study how the discipline has evolved over the past decades. You will then be presented with a range of scenarios that include how the culture of an organization can affect the implementation of change and various approaches to implementing organizational change. Next you will study a range of factors common to successful change management.
Even though change management is a complex process, some common factors for implementing successful change exist. By studying the principles and practices of change management you will develop an ability to have a positive input into any change process, regardless of the industry. You will gain a greater understanding of how to successfully implement organizational change, while also developing your own change management skills.
This free course will be of great interest to professionals working in an industry that is currently experiencing, or will soon be experiencing, change. The course will also be of interest to small business owners who wish to learn more about ensuring that their businesses can successfully transition through periods of change.
2-3 Hours50 Points
Effective Communication Skills for Managers
The free online course Effective Communication Skills for Managers presents key communication techniques and strategies needed by managers in any business or organisation. The course begins by showing you in a step-by-step manner how you can successfully prepare for and engage in any difficult conversation you may be faced with in a workplace situation. You will learn about the rules of communication, the importance of non-verbal communication and how to develop effective listening skills. You will also learn how to build rapport with your colleagues so that you can start to lead the conversation. You will also learn how influence works and strengthen your own skills at influence and persuasion. You will learn how to plan and develop an effective presentation.
You will learn how to overcome nervousness and deliver presentations naturally, whether you are speaking at a small team meeting or presenting to an audience of hundreds. Finally, you will learn about the key communication skills needed for successful team meetings. You will also learn about the importance of creating and distributing minutes of the meeting that accurately describe what was discussed at the meeting, and any actions that were agreed upon and whose responsibility they are.
This course will be of great interest to existing junior managers or those wishing to move into the managerial level and who would like to develop effective communication skills. It will also be of interest to learners who would like to develop communication skills needed for advancement within any business or organisation.
2-3 Hours50 Points
Business Communication - Managing Successful Team Meetings
The free online course Business Communication - Managing Successful Team Meetings introduces you to the communication skills needed for coordinating and managing successful team meetings in the work place.
Team meetings are an essential part of any business or organization: they help progress ongoing projects with the business; they can facilitate the creation and development of new ideas; they can highlight and resolve serious problems within a business. Poorly managed team meetings result in frustrated team members and are a waste of time and resources, whereas successful team meetings result in motivated team members and bring great benefits to a business. Successful team meetings depend on excellent business communication skills to arrange, manage and report on the meeting.
In this free online course you will learn about the key communication skills needed for successful team meetings. You will learn that how a team meeting is arranged is key to its successful outcome. You will learn about the importance of the purpose statement and agenda for the meeting, and how they must be communicated to the individual team members so that they can prepare for the meeting. Once the meeting is in progress you will learn about the communication skills needed to manage a meeting, how to transition from one topic to the next, how to help team members contribute positively at the meeting and how to bring the meeting to a successful conclusion. You will also learn about the importance of creating and distributing minutes of the meeting that accurately describe what was discussed at the meeting, and any actions that were agreed upon and whose responsibility they are.
This course will be of great interest to all business professionals who would like to learn more about the key communication skills needed to manage successful team meetings, and for any learner who would like to improve their business communication skills.
1-2 Hour50 Points