Ongoing training is a crucial part of employee engagement
You’ve a small company with a handful of staff. What’s the point of spending money on training them? They’re doing their jobs adequately enough, aren’t they?
The truth is that any company that doesn’t invest in the training of its workforce is hamstringing itself for future growth and is likely only ever to tick over, or possibly even go into a downturn when extra skills are needed and there isn’t budget to employ new people with those skills.
By investing in training, you are empowering your employee and showing them that he or she is a valuable part of your business, whether or not the training relates to their current role or one they might eventually develop into. Show them that your business needs their skills and you will engender loyalty, productivity, and a level of self-confidence that can only serve to bolster your business.
A robust employee training programme, even if you’re a small company, will build sustainability into your business model that will pay dividends.
Benefits to employers and employees
- Staff become more competent at their jobs
- Staff become engaged and therefore more flexible
- Increased job satisfaction and morale among employees
- Increased motivation
- Increased productivity
- Change management becomes easier to introduce
- Risk management, eg, equality and diversity training
- Fewer accidents
- Brand reputation improves
- Reduced waste
Regular training and learning opportunities are an investment that will help your workforce to prosper and develop while providing your business with a highly skilled team and a competitive advantage in the market.
Philip McIntyre, a director of Carlton Training Ltd,
says: “As a training company we provide training courses for organisations in all sorts of industries and sectors, construction, education, healthcare and catering to name a few. A common element in the approach to training taken by the best players in each industry, both large and small, is that training is seen as an integral part of the business and a key element in getting the best of out the workforce.
“Although it is tempting for an SME to view training as either an add-on luxury or when required by law as a burden that has to be borne, the best approach to take is to see what benefits staff training can bring to your business – and not just bottom-line benefits either. It is clear that a properly trained workforce will naturally be more effective and competent in their roles and thus enabling the organisation to function smoothly and efficiently with fewer mistakes, errors and waste.”
Staff competency and turnover
Studies reveal that organisations with lower staff turnover spend the most on training and education. Reducing staff turnover can only benefit any company. Replacing staff is expensive – vital skills and experience are lost and resources disrupted as managers are taken away from routine duties to take part in the recruitment process.
Measuring potential candidates against competencies delivered in your training programmes also streamlines the recruitment process and reduces the induction period.
Adequate training increases the skill-set of your employees enabling them to be offered a wider range of responsibilities. Greater confidence and motivation will lead to staff becoming less reliant on close supervision. Training in skills specific to your industry does not necessarily limit the benefits of flexibility. Staff who receive such tailored training often increase:
- Communication skills
- Creativity and innovation
Adequately training employees has been proven to have significant benefit to clients and customers, who become more satisfied with the improved level of products and services.
Improved staff attitude and morale
If employees are engaged with the training they receive – and the impact this has on their ability to function, many will be keen to apply these new skills and knowledge in practical situations.
Staff with diverse skills-sets are generally more satisfied and positive in their jobs. This decreases the potential of work-related stress and improves the overall work environment. By investing in their training, staff often feel:
- Their employer has confidence in them to do the job
- The business values them and is giving something back over and above wages.
As a result, employees will become self-starters and develop further competencies such as leadership and teambuilding and be more willing to undertake further training.
Training is also a perfect opportunity for employers to get to know their staff better, and for staff to develop stronger working relationships.
Philip McIntyre continues: “There are other - less tangible - benefits that investing in training can provide. Note that word ‘investing’ rather than ‘spending’ as training people is generally a long-term commitment and best viewed as such rather than a short term loss. These benefits include much better staff morale, a more professional appearance to customers, reduced risk of errors leading to claims or bad publicity and a much better chance of attracting and retaining the brightest and best to your workforce. You might think that this is only applies to service-sector SMEs but any business with customers is providing a service of some sort.”