The importance of training to your business
Your business cannot and will not survive without training. If that sounds over-dramatic, consider the people working in your business – if they don’t know what they’re doing or how to do it, if they’re not up to date with the latest methods and processes, your business will not be competitive.
As both technology and societies evolve, the ways in which you provide your goods or services also evolve; as do the skills and knowledge needed to deliver them. What’s needed is an effective workforce (even if it’s just you) and the way to get it is training.
The big challenge with training is equipping the right people with the right skills and knowledge at the right time.
Is it “training” or “development”?
These two terms are often used interchangeably but they’re not really the same. Training usually refers to equipping employees with the skills they need for their current role: the specific knowledge and skills required to achieve their objectives. Development usually refers to something more personal and future-oriented: the support that an individual needs to improve and progress, leading to enhanced performance and future career opportunities. Both are important but the focus of this post is the more immediate concerns of training.
The benefits training offers to your business
Arguably, the key goal for your business is to establish and maintain a competitive advantage. Training enables this in a number of ways:
- Essential knowledge and skills – Training can give your people the latest knowledge, skills and best practices in your industry or field. It may be task-specific or related to using essential systems or processes; the key is to ensure that you have an expert workforce capable of delivering on your promises to clients and customers.
- Boosted productivity – A trained workforce is a confident and capable workforce, with the result that your people operate more productively with fewer errors and less need for support in delivering on their objectives.
- Rapid onboarding – A focused, well-structured training programme can ensure your new recruits achieve the necessary level of performance more rapidly. What’s more, a reputation for investing in employee training and development will make your business more appealing as an employer, attracting better quality applications for job vacancies.
- Reduced employee turnover – An oft-quoted reason for employees seeking a job elsewhere is a lack of training. Development-focused activities also play a significant role in people choosing to stay with an employer.
- A better customer experience – A well-trained workforce creates better products and/or delivers a better service. A positive experience encourages customer and client loyalty can lead to longer term relationships and a boost to your brand reputation.
- Compliance – Most areas of business come with legislative requirements or standards that must be complied with. Training ensures that your workforce understand (and can follow) the necessary legal and regulatory frameworks.
The benefits training offers to your employees
Naturally, you’re not the only one to benefit from a focus on employee training. The people you employ are increasing their knowledge and growing their skills. They benefit from:
- Greater confidence – Expertise (knowing what you are doing and how to do it) is a great confidence boost, not only resulting in better and more efficient customer service but also in job satisfaction for the individual employee.
- Standardised work processes – Task-related training relies on established a right (or at least, recommended) way of doing things. Standard procedures reduce the cognitive load on employees, and also increase the flexibility of your workforce by ensuring people can stand in or cover for each other when necessary.
- Less need for supervision – Trained employees require less management oversight on a daily basis, freeing up supervisors, managers and leaders to focus on less routine matters. For the employee, there is empowerment in being able to deliver their objectives without constant management input.
- Better morale – Equipping people with the skills and knowledge to the job required of them is an inherently supportive act. People who feel they are part of a supportive work environment work generally feel more motivated and work more effectively.
The learning organisation
Training people on specific tasks or processes is one thing (a good thing!) but the above benefits really start stacking up when training (and development) is a fundamental part of your company culture. In a learning organisation, training and development is a key factor in business success. The focus is on continuous training and development as a way of evolving with (and in advance of) a constantly changing market. Put simply, the learning never stops!
For more on fully realising the benefits of training to your business, check out our free introductory webinar, “Creating a learning organisation” on 10 May 2024. Sign up here.
Training improves the skills and knowledge of your workforce, shows your people that you value them, and by investing in training and development, you can ‘grow your own’ future managers and specialists thus reducing your reliance on the job market. For more on the training topics and options available, take a look at the range of free taster webinars we offer. Or give us a call on 01582 463460, we’re here to help.