Knowledge and skills development is vital to the health of any organisation. Because we live in the information age, new tools, programs and strategies are ubiquitous and it can be difficult to stay ahead of the curve.
A commitment to the continuous education and development of employees is essential in order to stay competitive in any industry. Training can help businesses operate more efficiently, promote job satisfaction, allow for standardized processes throughout large organizations, increase employee engagement, and address skills gaps. Training can also be used as a recruitment and retention tool; organizations that offer development opportunities are more likely to attract and retain valuable employees.
An Investment or an Expense?
Despite the initial monetary expenditure, investing in training pays financial dividends. Knowledgeable, properly-trained employees can be a source of profit for an organization, while employees who have had limited training are less likely to be efficient, motivated and adept workers. Research has also shown that employees who have had limited training are more likely to leave an organization within a year.
By increasing the dollar amount spent on training employees, an organization reduces the costs associated with employee turnover. Employee turnover has been shown to hurt an organization’s productivity, morale, reputation and profits. Figures vary, but losing an employee can cost as much as 1.5 to 3 times the employees’ salary.
Although it may take some time to see a return on the investment, the long-term gains associated with employee training will positively impact your bottom line.
Typical Reasons for Employee Training and Development
Development programs can be initiated for a variety of reasons for an employee or group of employees, including:
- To introduce standardized procedures and the skills required
- To “benchmark” the status of improvement in a performance improvement effort
- As part of an overall professional development program
- To provide training on a specific program or topic
- Cross training
- When a performance appraisal indicates performance improvement is needed
Typical Topics of Employee Training
The potential topics for employee training programs are endless, but many organizations provide instruction in the following areas:
- Business communication skills
- Technical skills
- Customer service skills
- Diversity training
- Quality initiatives
- Safety training
- Informational sessions
There are various methods organisations adopt in the training and development of their employees, depending on their needs. They include role playing, job rotation, on-the-job training, vestibule training (where employees are trained off their regular work areas but in an environment closely resembling their work place), classroom training, onsite training, conferences, technical seminars, instructor-led online training, or mentoring.