Training is good for your business and good for your employees. Skilling staff improves business performance, boosts profits and increases morale. There has been a huge shift in understanding the benefits of training in recent years, and many training programmes are now encompassing staff development, as well as practical training.
So why is training more important than ever before?
People are a business’s most important asset. Building a talent base and retaining it is critical for success and in keeping ahead of competitors. A good training programme will upskill staff and that could give your business the competitive advantage it needs.
One of the biggest challenges businesses face in the current climate is staff retention. Quality employees (including managers) can always find a new home. Coupled with opportunities for personal development, training programmes are essential in today’s business climate for hanging on to talented staff.
Attract new talent
As well as assisting with staff retention, training is also a company benefit that is attractive to ambitious people. Potential top candidates will be looking for positions where they will be given the opportunity to grow and improve their skills.
Increase staff loyalty and pride
It’s long been thought that Millennials, unlike previous generations, aren’t tied to their jobs by a sense of loyalty. But, according to Deloitte’s reputable Millennial survey, young professionals are seeking greater stability in employment in a world beset by social and political upheaval. Commitment and loyalty from employees are directly related to opportunities for staff development.
In the past, many employers have put off training and development of staff because they see it as too expensive. There has been the blinkered view that while employees are attending training sessions, whether in-house, at a specialist college or a training centre, they are missing out on work time, and that delays projects and affects productivity. This represents a short-term view. Many organisations are beginning to see that investment in staff training has much greater long-term benefits – especially given the value and cost benefits of scaling your training and development programs.
There’s no hiding from the fact that automation will have a significant impact on a huge number of businesses in the coming years. Already workplaces are more digitised, virtual and mobile than ever before. A skills survey carried out by the Manpower Group found that three out of four businesses expect that automation will require new skills from employees, and that sixty percent of businesses are investing in internal training to keep skills fresh.
Automation can help to extend training opportunities too. You can offer a mix of in-person and online training to widen the range of what is available and manage budgets more effectively.
Online workforce planning is essential in today’s increasingly digital business environment. Keeping track of training schedules and encouraging open communication with employees is key to staff development.
The benefits of training for your business
- You get to target skills training to meet the needs of your operation for now and in the future.
- Good training will result in better customer service, better work safety practices and increased productivity.
- You can demonstrate to your workforce that you value them enough to invest in them. This will improve loyalty and staff retention, which will save you money on recruitment costs.
- Training addresses employee weaknesses and helps to reduce any weak links.
- Increases overall knowledge so staff can take over from one another as needed, and work independently.
- Encourages creativity, which is essential for future product development.
- Increases collaboration between you and your workforce.
- Enhances the reputation and profile of your business.
The benefits of training for your staff:
- Employees can acquire new skills, increase their contribution to the business and build confidence and self-esteem
- Training can help employees with their career prospects, enabling them to move into other positions within the organisation.
- Training enables staff to be clear about what is expected of them.
- Upskilling workers to do new and different tasks, keeps them motivated and fresh.
- Staff will feel valued, because you are investing in them. Your company will build a reputation as one that retrains rather than one with a high staff turnover.
Tips for implementing staff training
So there you have it. Staff training will give your business an edge and help you to attract and keep motivated and high-quality staff. But all training is not equal. Make sure that you have a strategic approach and a clear process in place. Here are our tips for putting your staff training aspirations into action:
- Ensure all training is linked to your business’s goals and performance.
- Implement training as part of a business-wide strategy – decide which skills will take your business forward.
- Ensure training has tangible and obtainable objectives for your employees. Employees need regular opportunities and goals to enhance their skills.
- Include training objectives that help employees carry out existing tasks more efficiently, or to a higher standard.
- Offer training so that individuals can aim to take on a different role, or increased responsibilities.
- Be clear about who is responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating the training.
- You may need to prioritise training needs according to a budget.
- Keep staff informed and involved.
- Ask staff for input on what training they feel they need.
- Carry out a skills audit. Some employees may have skills you weren’t aware of.