It’s commonly known that workplace training tends to be side-lined when companies go through rough financial patches, and it can be an intimidating road to go down even when top management is fully behind the initiative. Often, the decision of whether to go ahead with training or not is based solely on examining the direct outcomes of the training, and, if those outcomes are not convincing enough, or not deemed as necessary, the idea may be canned altogether.
As this happens, the other, more alternative benefits of training are forgotten. In essence, the company not only loses out on the direct outcomes of training, but also on the gains and opportunities that would have made long term positive impacts which would positively affect the bottom line.
With this in mind we have put together a few good points about how beneficial training your staff can be, not only for upskilling on a particular, chosen topic, but for a few more subtle, but no less important, benefits:
No matter what the particular course may be, training will not only allow your staff to achieve the goals of that specific training, but also encourages them to embrace other work-life realities with ease, such as changing industry environments, or direct changes such as company restructures.
Training your staff means that they are kept up to date with new ideas, and new ways of thinking about the jobs that may no longer be a novelty to them. In addition to this, being able to share common issues and obstacles with someone who can offer a slightly different perspective, is invaluable.
Your staff will be able to see the value in building themselves as individuals, which creates a more confident employee, and in turn encourages them to provide higher quality of work. More confident employees, and an understanding of how their personal contribution builds a successful business, means that they can work better on an individual basis as well as in a team.
Having more well-trained staff means that your employees can get on with what they were taught to do and can perform it at a quicker pace with more experience. Experienced staff are also able to suggest improvements to make processes more efficient, as opposed to simply executing what has been instructed by the supervisor.
A second point is that supervisors and managers are then not needed to watch over and guide staff as much, meaning they have time to think about the bigger picture of the business as opposed to the everyday running of it. Having a fully skilled workforce is one of the most profitable long term plans your company can have, as it goes hand in hand with the correct allocation of resources to projects, ensuring everyday profitability.
Like a little bit of shoe polish on a once-new shoe, training can breathe new life into your workforce, add a bit more value to their lives, and equip them to perform better at their jobs. The fact is, when you take the time to invest in your staff through training, they feel good about it. They know that training costs money that, as an employer, you have chosen to spend on them. This gives them a boost, in turn affecting their self-esteem, which has a vast impact on not only their professional life, but their personal life as well. Studies have found that when employees feel invested in, they produce higher quality outputs and make better employees - simple as that1.
One of the best ways to increase your employee retention levels is by making your staff feel like they mean something to the company, and that they are more valuable now to the organisation, as well as to any other organisation they move on to. Obviously as an employer, the motivation for this is not to make the employee more valuable to another company, but to ensure that the employee feels valued enough to not seek employment elsewhere. Recruiting staff not only has hard costs attached to it, but requires time, effort and valuable resources, and ends up being a hassle that would much rather be avoided. In many situations, you can often maintain your staff complement, and double your productivity levels, just by upskilling key staff members.
One of the more subtle benefits of training staff is that it is easier to perceive those members who have aims of progressing their careers in line with the business, and which are comfortable with hanging back and remaining in their current positions. This enables you to focus on and motivate those who want to progress, getting the most out of your employees, ensuring the company optimises its productivity levels and gains the greatest return on investment from the training. This allows the structure of the company to be centred on the people of the company: those who want the challenge of more responsibility or management can be placed in those positions, thereby aligning individual staff goals more closely with the goals of the business.
Training institutions and HR departments will often wax lyrical on the benefits of training, mentioning points we have all heard before such as vastly increased staff morale and higher productivity levels. The reality is though, that there aren’t many downsides to making such an investment in your staff and company, though it is important to have a solid plan which includes management involvement, and a high quality training provider to ensure more success and less stress in this regard.
- Turning Skills Into Profit: Economic Benefits of Workplace Education Programs
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