Benefits of Training and Development
Benefits of training your staff
Skilling your staff is good for your business and good for your workforce.
Good for your business
Training can improve business performance, profit and staff morale. Advantages to your business include:
You choose what new skills your workforce acquires, targeting skills to meet the needs of your operation for now and in the future
Through Skills in the Workplace, you may be able to get government funding to help meet between 50% and 90% of training costs
Training your staff can result in better customer service, better work safety practices and productivity improvements
You demonstrate to your workforce that you value them enough to invest in them, improving loyalty and staff retention. In turn, retention is a saving to you.
Good for your workers
Training has many benefits for your staff
They acquire new skills, increasing their contribution to the business and building their self-esteem
The training they do can take them into other positions within the organisation – positions with better prospects and/or better pay
They’re upskilled to do new and different tasks, which keeps them motivated and fresh
Because they’re being trained on your time, they see that you value them enough to invest in them. A good company is seen as one that retrains rather than churns.
Knowledge and skills development is vital to the health of organisations. We live in an information age today, and organisations are routinely valued not just on their physical but on their intellectual capital. Training is one of the chief methods of maintaining and improving intellectual capital, so the quality of an organisation’s training affects its value. Untrained or poorly trained employees cost significantly more to support than well-trained employees do. Training affects employee retention and is a valuable commodity that, if viewed as an investment rather than as an expense, can produce high returns.
Training is organisational effort aimed at helping employees to acquire the basic skills required for the efficient execution of the functions for which they are hired. Development, on the other hand, deals with activities undertaken to expose employees to perform additional duties and assume positions of importance in the organisational hierarchy.
Training and development are often initiated for an employee or a group of employees in order to:
1. Relevantly remain in business.
2. Create a pool of readily available and adequate replacements for personnel who may leave or move up in the organisation.
3. Enhance the company’s ability to adopt and use advances in technology because of a sufficiently knowledgeable staff.
4. Build a more efficient, effective and highly motivated team, which enhances the company’s competitive position and improves employee morale.
5. Ensure adequate human resources for expansion into new programs.
6. Pilot or test the operation of a new performance management system.
Benchmark the status of improvement so far in a performance improvement effort.
Training is also initiated:
1. As part of an overall professional development program
2. When a performance appraisal indicates performance improvement is needed
When special projects and products are to be embarked upon
The benefits of training and development to employees and organisations alike are numerous and include (but are not limited to) the following:
1. Workers are helped to focus, and priority is placed on empowering employees.
2. Productivity is increased, positively affecting the bottom line.
3. Employee confidence is built, keeping and developing key performers, enabling team development and contributing to better team/organisation morale.
4. Employees are kept current on new job-related information, thereby contributing significantly to better customer service.
5. Employees are updated on new and enhanced skills, with a view to aligning them to business goals and objectives.
6. After a downsizing, remaining workers are given the technical and management skills to handle increased workloads.
7. Companies with business problems are given a fresh or unbiased professional opinion or exploration, evaluation, or critique.
8. Job satisfaction, employee motivation and morale are increased, reducing employee turnover.
9. Processes increase in efficiency, resulting in financial gain.
Innovation is increased, bringing new strength to strategies, products and the company’s capacity to adopt new technologies and methods.
There are various methods organisations adopt in the training and development of their employees, depending on their needs. They include role playing, job rotation, on-the-job training, vestibule training (where employees are trained off their regular work areas but in an environment closely resembling their work place), public classroom training, onsite training, conferences which allow employees to quickly develop skills on a number of topics, technical seminars which provide employees benefits similar to conferences but with less flexibility because of focused contents, instructor-led online training, mentoring where the skills gap to be bridged is substantial, e-learning modules which allow for employee independent learning and exercises are repeatedly done to reinforce or refresh understanding of content, and embedded learning which helps employees learn through modules built into products or equipment – embedded learning solutions are often customized to fit an organisation’s requirement. We also have reference cards which provide instant access to essential learning, such as Frequently Asked Questions, paper reference cards, web-based cards, etc.
We should all be grateful to God that we belong to ILSPA, where quality training can be got. The year has just begun; we all have ample opportunities to reposition ourselves skills-wise for the greater challenges and responsibilities ahead. Consequently, if your organisation does not see the need to train you, I encourage you to do something about it, considering the immense benefits you will enjoy. The more skilful and knowledgeable you are, the more valuable you will be and there will always be something for you to do to earn a living. Let’s always remember: Never the same time returns in the life of a man!
Typical Topics of Employee Training
Communications: The increasing diversity of today's workforce brings a wide variety of languages and customs.
Computer skills: Computer skills are becoming a necessity for conducting administrative and office tasks.
Customer service: Increased competition in today's global marketplace makes it critical that employees understand and meet the needs of customers.
Diversity: Diversity training usually includes explanation about how people have different perspectives and views, and includes techniques to value diversity
Ethics: Today's society has increasing expectations about corporate social responsibility. Also, today's diverse workforce brings a wide variety of values and morals to the workplace.
Human relations: The increased stresses of today's workplace can include misunderstandings and conflict. Training can people to get along in the workplace.
Quality initiatives: Initiatives such as Total Quality Management, Quality Circles, benchmarking, etc., require basic training about quality concepts, guidelines and standards for quality, etc.
Safety: Safety training is critical where working with heavy equipment , hazardous chemicals, repetitive activities, etc., but can also be useful with practical advice for avoiding assaults, etc.
Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment training usually includes careful description of the organization's policies about sexual harassment, especially about what are inappropriate behaviors.
General Benefits from Employee Training and Development
There are numerous sources of online information about training and development. Several of these sites (they're listed later on in this library) suggest reasons for supervisors to conduct training among employees. These reasons include:
Increased job satisfaction and morale among employees
Increased employee motivation
Increased efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain
Increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods
Increased innovation in strategies and products
Reduced employee turnover
Enhanced company image, e.g., conducting ethics training (not a good reason for ethics training!)
Risk management, e.g., training about sexual harassment, diversity training
Staff training is essential for specific purposes related to your business. You may require new workers to undertake instruction in first aid, food handling or a new booking system. Incorporating training that develops employees toward long-term career goals can also promote greater job satisfaction. A more satisfied employee is likely to stay longer and be more productive while on your team.
THE COST OF TURNOVER
A recent survey indicates that 40 per cent of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year. They cite the lack of skills training and development as the principal reason for moving on.
Consider the cost of turnover. With one fewer worker, your company’s productivity slips. Sales decline. Your current staff members are required to work more hours. Morale may suffer. To find a replacement, you spend time screening and interviewing applicants. Once you hire someone, you need to train that person. The cost of staff turnover adds up. Figures vary, but it can cost as much as $2,500, depending on the position, to replace a frontline employee. That is a hefty price to pay for not training staff.
OTHER BENEFITS OF TRAINING AND ADULT EDUCATION
Despite the initial monetary costs, staff training pays back your investment. Here are just some of the reasons to take on development initiatives:
· Training helps your business run better. Trained employees will be better equipped to handle customer inquiries, make a sale or use computer systems.
· Training is a recruiting tool. Today's young workers want more than a paycheque. They are geared toward seeking employment that allows them to learn new skills. You are more likely to attract and keep good employees if you can offer development opportunities.
· Training promotes job satisfaction. Nurturing employees to develop more rounded skill sets will help them contribute to the company. The more engaged and involved they are in working for your success, the better your rewards.
· Training is a retention tool, instilling loyalty and commitment from good workers. Staff looking for the next challenge will be more likely to stay if you offer ways for them to learn and grow while at your company. Don't give them a reason to move on by letting them stagnate once they've mastered initial tasks.
· Training adds flexibility and efficiency. You can cross-train employees to be capable in more than one aspect of the business. Teach them to be competent in sales, customer service, administration and operations. This will help keep them interested and will be enormously helpful to you when setting schedules or filling in for absences. Cross-training also fosters team spirit, as employees appreciate the challenges faced by co-workers.
· Training is essential for knowledge transfer. It's very important to share knowledge among your staff. If only one person has special skills, you'll have a tough time recouping their knowledge if they suddenly leave the company. Spread knowledge around — it's like diversifying your investments.
· Training gives seasonal workers a reason to return. Let seasonal employees know there are more ways than one to contribute. Instead of hiring someone new, offer them a chance to learn new skills and benefit from their experience.
Learning and upgrading employee skills makes business sense. It starts from day one, and becomes successive as your employees grow. Granted, it may take some time to see a return on your investment, but the long-term gains associated with employee training make a difference. The short-term expense of a training program ensures you keep qualified and productive workers who will help your company succeed. That’s an investment you can take to the bank.