Keeping your staff’s skills up-to-date has huge financial benefits for your organisation as a whole and helps to foster a positive workplace culture. The core benefits of training and developing your staff are:
- Increased productivity
- Reduced need for supervision
- Increased job satisfaction
What falls under training and development?
Training and development covers a range of things an organisation can offer its employees, including:
- Training sessions
- Certification courses
- Sponsored tertiary education
- Online resources
- Textbooks and other literature
- On-the-job support and mentoring
How does training and development work in practice?
In practice, managers sponsor the development of their workforce with the hope of attracting talented staff and increasing their productivity. The training is typically facilitated by human resources staff, who may also be involved in the coaching and performance review process. The main providers of the actual training though are typically experts in the field who can be contracted for short term and ongoing training.
Typical roles in the training and development field include:
- Management development (for executives)
- New employee orientation
- Professional skills training
- Technical training
- Customer service training
- Sales and marketing training
- Health and safety training
When might training and development be appropriate?
All business owners should be providing ongoing training to get the most out of their employees and to provide opportunities that make their business an attractive employer. With that said, there are a number of circumstances which may call for additional or special training, for example:
- Introduction of a new product or service: if you have recently rolled out a new offer, it is essential to ensure that your staff are fully versed in both how to use it and how to talk about it. Consider having an internal product demonstration or trial, as well as a seminar on the purpose and benefit of the new offering.
- Changes to tools or technology: if the hardware or software to be used by your staff changes, even slightly, it is best to run through a training session or workshop to ensure all staff are comfortable with the new requirements and practices.
- Introducing new roles to the organisation: if you have brought on staff to handle roles that previously didn’t exist, you will have to retrain your existing staff on how their role may change to take advantage of the new employee’s capacities or functions.
- Change of management: if you have recently taken over a business or you are replacing a manager within your business, it is valuable to run through a full training session with both staff and managers. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and is certain about their role.
- Falling profits or productivity: if your business is struggling it may be because your staff are unable to perform their role effectively. Looking for weaknesses and addressing them promptly may help to turn your financial situation around.
- Repositioning in the market: if you have recently undertaken a rebrand or an overhaul of your prices or services, it is necessary to inform and train your staff on the new identity of the business. Ensuring that the communication of your core values and offerings are consistent is vital if you are trying to redefine your image.