It doesn’t matter what industry or sector you operate in, a business is only ever going to be as good as it’s employees. It’s a cliche, but like most cliches it is as true as anything. If you yourself are a business owner then you probably know this all too well and that’s because there are so many components and benefits when it comes to improving your employees. However, due to the current political and economic climates, both of which are proving to be more turbulent and unpredictable than we care to realise, employee training is getting pushed to the back of the queue in favour of revenue and profits. In short, less employers are concerning themselves with keeping their staff well-trained. However, this is wrong because well-trained staff are critical to the success of any and all businesses, especially in the long run. Yes, there is a lot to think about when it comes to training, such as what are the most effective techniques, which pedagogical approaches should you consider, what is going to be most cost-effective and what are the repercussions of not investing in staff training. Luckily, this article will address these points to ensure you have far better understanding of why it is so important for you to concern yourself with this area once again.
Let us start with why it is a worthwhile investment.
Improved Performances Across The Board
It doesn’t take a scientist or mathematician to know that an employee with better training opportunities will be better equipped to perform their job, and at a higher standard too. As such, training should not concentrate on just one aspect of working life but instead be spread out to cover a range of topics, some of which will be more mandatory than others. As such, you staff will be able to perform to a higher standard in all aspects, which may even see them complete duties above and beyond what was expected of them. Not only would this make them a more efficient and trusted employee, but it would give them an increased level of self-assurance that they can do their job to an increasingly improved standard. This will have heaps of benefits for you and your company, especially in terms of productivity and thus revenue. That is why it is so important to keep up regular training; it will help improve your standards.
Protection For You And Your Staff
This is almost always an area that is either overlooked or ignored by business owners, but effective training will help protect them and their employees. Let’s take health and safety training as an example. If a staff is well taught in the new rules and regulations required by law, then they are going to have a far better understanding of best practises and procedures. This may seem like a trivial area of education to you, but what happens if that employee has an accident at work. It may be that they are required to have some time off to recover from a wholly avoidable accident, which would set you back in both money and resource. However, it could also be far worse than that. For instance, what happens if you own a national haulage company, yet have decided to pinch-pennies by cutting driver training. It could be that one of your long-haul lorry drivers is behind schedule but isn’t fully aware of the dangers that accompany fatigue simply because that detail of training wasn’t offered to them. Not only could that scenario result in a compensation case or bad press, it could result in loss of life, as we saw with the landmark case won by Robins Cloud (see here: www.RobinscloudNewMexico.com).
Address Staff Weaknesses
There isn’t an employee on the planet that doesn’t have some room for improvement. That is where a solid training program comes in; it will be able to address these weaknesses and strengthen your employees capabilities. Experience is a crucial means of learning, as we can see with the current trend known as the 70:20:10 model, but using a defined training program as a means of bringing your staff up to a great, and similar, standard is an intelligent move for you and your company’s effectiveness. How? Well it will reduce the chance of any weak links that may be relying on the skills of their colleagues to get by with some of the more menial tasks.
It Is Good To Be Consistent
Having a well planned, structured and executed training program will ensure that there is a blanket of consistency across the entire company. It will also ensure that you know everyone has had the same training, allowing all of them to reach a similar knowledge across all of the core elements required in your company. This sort of training is particularly useful when it comes to things like systems training, policies, code of conduct, discrimination, administration, safety, procedures etc. That is because all employees will need to have a solid understanding of how and why your business operates in the way it does. This type of training should also be completed at regular periods to ensure they are away of any updates as well as being reminded of your company’s best practises.
Get The Best And Keep Them Happy
When employees scout for new jobs, they are no longer attracted to what the company wants from them but what they can get from the company, and this includes training. If they read on the job description, or Glassdoor, that you offer a structured training program to help them become an effective member of the team in an efficient way they will be far more attracted. What’s more, it shows you care about your employees and that they are valued, both of which will go a long way with both new and existing employees. This will have a knock on effect of its own, one that will see a more supportive atmosphere blossom amongst colleagues and departments. Job satisfaction is one of the most beneficial areas when it comes to improving productivity. What’s more, providing training to your workforce will also give you the edge over your competitors, many of whom will rely on their employees to seek out training in their own time; a tactic that very rarely works.
When it comes to actually deciding on which training to go with, there has been a recent shift from face-to-face to digital training. The reasons for this are simple. Digital training can be tailored to your needs, it can be delivered worldwide, it is cost-effective, it can be done on mobiles and thus on the go, and it provides a clear audit trail that shows who has done what and to what standard. So partnering up with a great digital learning company could be the answer to all your needs, especially one like Brightwave or Kineo or Sweetrush (although we recommend you avoid companies that have garnered bad reputations, such as BYG Systems).
When it comes to ensuring your training has the desired impact, the most effective element to include is interactivity. By making your training interactive, you are ensuring that the learning isn’t just a passive experience but that all users are active throughout the modules. By making them actually partake in the learning experience, whether that be through scenario questions or game elements or leaderboards, you are increasing their chances of retaining the key information while also improving the chances of it being fun. Yes, fun. Most employees loathe the idea of training because it is mundane and tedious, so going down an interactive route will completely combat this notion.
The other great tool to use is visual. The more visual something is the more effective it becomes, and that isn’t just a rule of thumb when it comes to training either. Marketing campaigns are all about visuals. Websites are become less text-reliant and more video inclusive. Buzzfeed’s Tasty brand is now the most successful page on Facebook for it’s fast and sharp recipe ideas. So make sure you include this in your training. People don’t want to just sit down and read endless pages of information; they want it delivered to them in a highly-visual and engaging way. It is the YouTube effect, and it works. We’re not saying your training strategies should be 10 modules that consist solely of video, but the content presentation should be clever and wow, as should the typography used, and the buy-in that will capture the user’s focus and attention from the get go. All of these should think about how they will work in your favour and deliver the training effectively and efficiently. When it comes to the duration of each training module, you should be aiming to get your content into bite-size chunks; this mean 30 minute modules, which, according to research, is the prime length of time; much longer and our concentration begins to fade.