Everyday is a school day
One constant in business: Change
The demands on businesses change constantly, from the challenges of regulatory compliance and health and safety to software or hardware updates, management training and alignment with industry guidelines. Changing times require changing skill sets, and top performing employers know that in order to perform well they must develop themselves and their employees to deal with changing business needs, but the question often arises: How can my business benefit from learning and development?
The growth of an organisation is driven by the people within, but growth is only possible if employees possess the right set of skills. Investing in your company’s greatest asset – your employees – can help your business to stay at the top of its game. A company growth and development strategy can and should be used to direct employee development. The alignment of a company strategy with a learning and development strategy ensures that training and other development activities can be targeted to facilitate meaningful and company-valuable outcomes.
Important for every business but especially small businesses, is a proactive approach to the reduction of any risk to the company’s future success. An example of risks to be managed could include quality issues, schedule management or the avoidance of liability. Planned learning and development activities enable employees to identify potential risks and eliminate them as they appear, before any harm occurs.
Today’s workers want more than just their monthly pay day; they want employment opportunities that allow them to develop new skills. Employers are more likely to attract and retain good employees if opportunities for personal development are offered. By enabling employees to master their roles, you can improve employee engagement and demonstrate that you care about your employees’ happiness at work.
The inverse of employee retention; employee turnover, has a high cost to business. With fewer workers your productivity suffers. Replacing an employee takes time and effort, and has an associated cost in terms of screening, interviewing and perhaps even training a successful applicant. By comparison, highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity. They think more carefully about their performance which leads to continuous process improvement and greater efficiencies.
Employees who are competent in a cross-section of functions within your business are more flexible and can help to improve your business efficiency. In addition to keeping employees interested, cross-training can engender a good team spirit because employees can understand and appreciate the efforts and successes faced by their fellow employees. A notable business benefit is the ready availability of cover during periods of absence.
The bottom line: training is a must
Effective, well-planned, aligned training can increase productivity, work quality, employee motivation and retention. It can reduce the exposure of your business to risk, mitigate the effects of change and prepare you and your employees for growth.