In order for our employees to deliver a quality service to clients, it is essential that they have the right skills and experience to undertake their duties. Whilst you will no doubt have verified that they possess the requisite competencies during the recruitment process, ongoing training and development is essential to enable your business to continue to develop and ensure that staff are up to date with the latest technical, legislative and market developments. There is an almost endless list of courses that might be relevant for your organisation ranging from customer service and sales techniques to time management and employment law as well as a whole host of crucial health & safety issues.
There are many benefits which can be gained by offering training to employees which include:
- Addressing any skills gaps
- Improvement in overall performance and productivity
- Better quality of customer experience
- Time and cost saving
- Improving morale
- Reducing staff absence
- Improving staff retention
Addressing skills gaps
Even your best employees will find some aspects of their role more demanding than others. By targeting specific skills gaps , through consultation with the individual, you can help to strengthen and expand their skill set.
Improvement in overall performance and productivity
If a member of staff can increase their skill set and boost their knowledge base, they are more likely to be able to carry out their duties with confidence in their own abilities which should in turn enable them to work more effectively and efficiently.
Better quality of customer experience
With relevant training, employees can better understand the needs of the client and provide consistency in the service they provide. Being able to competently deal with any issues that arise will help provide a first class customer experience.
Time and cost saving
Although there are costs associated with training and time out of a busy worker’s day, the longer term benefit is greater worker efficiency and no wastage of resources. From a health & safety perspective, if employees are sufficiently trained, there are less likely to be accidents in the workplace leading to staff absence or costly penalties..
Training and development can help make staff feel they have greater job satisfaction and hence greater morale. The extra skills they gain should make them feel like a real asset to their organisation and the opportunities for promotion that may present themselves can be a great motivator. The effects can be seen not only on an individual level, but can create a greater sense of team morale across the whole organisation.
Types of training
There are various methods by which to deliver training which are either on or off the job. On the job training involves employees learning in their real working environment, taking part in actual working scenarios and dealing with the types of challenges that they would face during a normal working day. Typically this would be done by shadowing, coaching and mentoring or job rotation. Off the job training is done away from the workplace and usually focuses on more general skills and knowledge, as well as job specific training. This would tend to be done via workshops, seminars or conferences. To make it more cost effective, you would ideally want to have groups of employees undertaking the training at the same time.
With a rise in the technology available for training, more and more employers are looking at online methods of training. Webinars and podcasts are widely available covering a huge range of topics across any industry sector. E-learning is becoming increasingly popular as a way of allowing employees to fit training needs around their work schedule. This is particularly useful if you have individual employees requiring specific training, or if a large number of staff need to complete courses over varying timescales. The training materials are standardised and tracking results (or indeed seeing who has completed the training) is easier.
Reaping the rewards
It is key to remember that it’s not just your rank and file staff that need to be trained. An effective management training program is just as important. The types of matters this might include are: inducting employees, dealing with discipline issues, conducting appraisals, employee relations and motivational ideas.
Despite the importance of training, it is not unusual to hear both employers and employees complain about the time that needs to be set aside to complete their courses. This is however only a minor drawback and benefits to be gained by both the company as a whole and the individual make it a worthwhile investment. Training is an investment for both the company and the individual, but in making sure that your staff are engaged in the training process, not only will they bring extra value to your business, but they will also feel valued themselves. And that is surely a win-win all round.
At Park City we can offer you a free “Training Needs Analysis” to see what specialist skills courses your business and employees could benefit from. Contact us today for more details.