Staff training is often seen by employers as something of a necessary evil; a task that must be ticked off a list to comply with health and safety regulations, or a process to get through as soon as possible when a new staff member is taken on. It’s true that time spent training is time employees are spending away from their primary roles and therefore is not immediately profitable. However, the longer-term gains are so valuable that anyone working in human resources should be proactive in encouraging managers to recognize the benefits to the business of investment in staff training.
On the job training is vital, of course, and larger organizations often have extensive in-house training schemes to help staff advance their professional skills. Smaller businesses needn’t miss out on the benefits of training courses, because there are plenty of companies providing external training in a variety of industries, or focusing on soft skills like communication. There are also some excellent courses available online, from basic skills all the way up to degree courses like the MBA.
There are several key areas in which staff training benefits organizations. The first is obvious: if you don’t train staff to do their work, then they’ll get things wrong, fail to be productive, and could well cost you money. There is more to it than the basic task of making sure someone knows how to do their job, though. The more knowledge an employee has not only about what they’re doing but also about why they’re doing it, the more motivated they are to do a good job.
If any manager finds that they can’t explain why a certain task needs to be performed, it suggests that perhaps the task needs reviewing, as maybe it’s become redundant. That’s an added bonus, but the point of explaining why staff members need to do certain tasks and why tasks need doing a particular way provides clarity and understanding – and encourages staff to contribute their own, constructive ideas as to how processes could be streamlined, or data used more productively.
Empowering staff by giving them knowledge through quality training, boosts morale, and employee satisfaction. Numerous surveys and research projects have proven that job satisfaction is a crucial indicator in predicting productivity and workplace harmony. If staff feel that their contribution is valued, they’ll be more engaged and produce a higher standard of work.
If you really pull the stops out by funding or part funding a degree course, then your staff members are likely to feel even more valued, and make active contributions to improving profitability. They’re also likely to be far more loyal to the business if you’ve invested in their training and set them up so well. That helps with staff retention, which is a major drain on organizations if they’re constantly recruiting and training new staff.
Investing in staff training is a definite win-win situation, so if your organization needs some persuading, gather all the data and prepare a presentation you can use to demonstrate the tremendous value of this type of investment.