No matter the shape or size of your business, staff training is a vital ingredient if you want to thrive in our competitive world.
With so many other demands on our time and budgets, training can fall way down the list of priorities. But ignore it at your peril! Granted, there’s no replacement for experience. But even the seemingly most competent member of staff must continue to prepare for tomorrow’s changing world.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to training. From webinars and online courses to workshops and classroom-based training, there are a range of approaches to suit each individual. It’s important to remember that everyone learns differently. What suits one person won’t be the best answer for someone else.
But the key message here is, whatever form it takes, make training part of your strategy. And here are some very good reasons why:
- Employees with better skills will do a better job. Sure, that sounds pretty obvious. If your staff have the right skills to complete their tasks effectively, the quality of their work will be better. Surely that’s something every employer wants? So why ignore training?!
- Improved efficiency and productivity. With the right people, with the right skills, in the right place, you’ve got all the ingredients for a high performance team. There will be less time wasted on guess work, or doing things “the long way round”. More tasks can be completed in the same time.
- It could save you money in the long run. Some managers balk at the idea of spending money on training. But if you invest in your staff development, they are more likely to stick with you. Improve your staff retention rate and you could dramatically reduce your spend on recruitment and training up new staff.
- A more positive workplace. Most employees will thrive on regular training. Self-development can be a real motivator. A culture of learning makes staff feel valued. They will also be more inclined to help each other out and share their newfound knowledge, benefitting the wider team.
- Sustainable growth for your business. With training comes new ideas and the ability to take advantage of new technology. This spirit of innovation and positive attitude towards change can really drive your business forward, keeping you at least one step ahead of your competitors.
- Happier customers. A positive team of motivated individuals producing high quality work all filters through to delivering customer excellence. Happy customers come back.
- Fewer accidents. Truer of some environments and industries than others, but if staff are properly trained in using equipment or machinery, they are less likely to have an accident.Better for them, of course, but also better for you.
- Reduced risks. Not all training has to be specific to a particular role. Company-wide training on topics such as sexual harassment, confidentiality and money laundering can help reduce the risk of you having to deal with any potentially very damaging situations.
- It’s great for your business’ reputation. Investing in your workforce through regular development programmes is perceived as a very positive trait for a business. This reputation will help you attract top new talent.
- Real results and success for your business. All of the above reasons add up to genuine positive results for your business. Done properly, there is an undeniable return on your training investment.
A more productive, efficient workforce, serving a band of happy customers who keep coming back, and a culture for change, equals huge success for you, your team and your business.
With all of the above being said, it’s important to mention that the training on offer must be appropriate, tailored and timely in order for your business to reap the real benefits. Training for training’s sake can have the opposite effect.
So, plan your training carefully. Work with a specialist (hello!) to identify the real areas for focus. I continue to learn every day and encourage everyone in business to be open to that concept.