I’ve seen small businesses limit themselves by neglecting to purchase things that don’t seem necessary… but a few things are essential to growth. As a small business, you probably don’t need some of the bigger expenses large businesses spend on (company picnics aren’t a big investment when you don’t need a caterer). But what are the business essentials you’re missing? What should be your number one? Training. Whether grow into their current position or simply find better ways to work, you should provide your employees the opportunity for growth when they want to be better at their job.

Growth in All Directions

Big companies train their employees through cross-training. An employee who began developing company emails could be helpful in filming or editing video — you just have to give them a chance. If they show the interest in a field outside their realm of expertise, give them the chance to broaden their skills. They just might have the skills you’re looking for, subsequently saving you the resources to hire an external candidate.

Encourage this kind of mindset; don’t hinder it by saying “we already have someone doing that.” Surveys show that when asked what their greatest frustration with work is, 55% of employees said it’s a “lack of growth opportunities.” Employees thrive on professional growth, so denying them this opportunity continues developmental stagnation and they’ll eventually find another employer who will cultivate their skills.

Level Up Employees For Increased Productivity

Rather than expanding their wealth of skills, some employees just want to feel better at their jobs. They don’t just want to do their job; they want to be good at it. As many as one-fourth of employees say they would be more satisfied with their job if they were given the opportunity to do what they do best. If a team member wants to be a better worker, a better employee, give them the training and materials necessary to do so.

However, these training courses have to be robust and worthwhile. Forty percent of employees who receive poor training at their job end up leaving in the first year due to the lack of development. This shouldn’t be a surprise; if your team doesn’t feel adequate in their position they’ll find a job that will – in the very least – give them the training to produce the best work they can. So invest in training after onboarding. See it as a regular investment in making sure your employees get better at their jobs every year (and reduce turnover while you’re at it).

A Mindful Tactic

Productivity doesn’t have to be addressed candidly – some strategies to improve productivity through indirect means. They aim to improve how we work, not the work itself. Mindfulness, which means slowing down your mind and focusing your conscious on the present, allows you to work more intensely. It may sound like something a Bay Area salesman might try to push on you, but it’s tackling real problems that could help your employees increase their productivity. Rasmus Hougaard, Managing Director at the Potential Project, sees mindfulness as a way to combat our shortening attention spans.

“When we multitask we get less efficient. We lose our sense of prioritisation and our overview. We get more stressed, we lose our work-life balance . . . In 2009 we could pay attention on an average of 13 seconds. In 2013 it was eight seconds—goldfish can focus for nine seconds.”

Mindfulness is the kind of training big companies can afford to pull off because they have much more invested capital. But small businesses should look into ways they can afford it was well. After all, a lack of productivity affects employees regardless of the size of their business.

Being a small business doesn’t mean thinking small. If anything, it means thinking bigger about the ways you can help train employees to reach their full potential, since with each employee making up a larger portion of your productivity, you can afford to invest in them. Sometimes this means taking cues from the giants of the industry. But other times, it means finding the right way to grow.