When was the last time you really thought about the impact you were getting from your training investment? If you are honest, it’s probably been a while if ever. Company funded and managed programs can be very effective in developing staff skills and competencies specific to a role or requirement if properly introduced and maintained. On the flip side, many managers and business owners talk about the importance and value of their workforce and then leave the professional development up to each employee’s personal motivation or desire to learn. Unfortunately many employees do little or nothing to develop themselves or learn new skills without some prompting.
In light of this, let’s consider what training can provide a company. I have witnessed the impact of an effective training program deliver the following results to organizations, especially if it is supported with coaching and mentoring:
There is a direct correlation between training and staff loyalty. Employees that are provided regular opportunities to learn new skills or refine existing abilities reward their employer with increased effort to achieve results. This is a significant factor relating to succession planning and talent retention which is a challenge for most companies. Even Generation X and Y demonstrate loyalty if they are being supported and have a path for contribution, recognition and advancement.
Well trained, knowledgeable employees simply do a better job. Poor performance is often the result of staff being too afraid or embarrassed to admit they are not competent and confident in their ability. Group and individual training provides a level playing field where all staff can learn new approaches and review existing skills with the “stars” rising to the top and advancing to greater levels of success.
Confidence increases with competence. People with a high confidence level generally are more effective in their roles. If a person does not believe they are able to stretch and attempt a new approach, they will retreat or remain stuck in their old and often ineffective ways. A trained employee faced with a situation addressed in a recent learning session is likely to try a new technique or approach because of his or her confidence in knowing what steps to follow.
Employees that learn together bond and trust each other more. Place a group of people that work together in a room where they can explore and practice new approaches to everyday issues, and opportunities for new levels of contact and connection are created. Employees that know and trust each other will go the wall for a colleague to help them succeed or ensure the company is successful and that client’s get the very best level of service.
When considering joining a firm, the prospective employer’s training and development programs can be a key decision for top candidates. Both internal training and externally funded training can be important enticements to join a firm. I’ve witnessed prospective employee’s select one firm over another simply because of training and development programs.
To achieve higher levels of employee engagement, interaction and effectiveness, invest in your most important asset – your people. The results of this commitment will likely not show up on your next quarterly financial statement; however they will have a significant impact on the long-term viability, stability and ROI for your firm.