Some small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) view employee training as an expense with little benefit, but training can be of immense value to a business.In fact, there is a strong case to be made that spending more on employee training could be hugely beneficial. The right training leads to better employee engagement and productivity, making it a great investment for SMBs.
This is just one of the reasons why SMBs should consider spending more on employee training.
Employee training can provide a wide variety of benefits, both to the individual and the company as a whole.
One of the main benefits of employee training is a boost to productivity, as employees who have a greater set of skills can perform their role more efficiently and with greater results.
In fact, investing in employee training can lead to a nearly 10% growth in productivity, according to the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce (EQW).
Training can also be great for streamlining procedures and creating more uniformity within teams so that everyone is working from the same guidelines. Studies have shown that training can also boost morale within the team – it can lead to greater job satisfaction and motivation.
Boredom within the workplace can create a feeling of dissatisfaction and even lead to negative working habits over time. But training can help to prevent idleness in the business, as it allows for regular re-evaluation and this can encourage employee engagement and advocacy.
Employee training makes your employees more skilled at their jobs, but it also spurs employee engagement.
This is the connection an individual has with their work. If you have engaged employees, this means your employees are passionate about what they do and are committed to their jobs.
Employee training makes your employees feel valued, which means they are motivated to go the extra mile at work. In this case, they know their employer is investing in their professional development, and employees value that.
Employee engagement leads to higher productivity, profitability, and even retention.
Companies with engaged employees are 21% more profitable because their employees are 17% more productive, according to a Gallup study.
When employees feel a stronger connection to the organization they work for, they are less likely to leave.
Employee turnover can cost companies thousands each year, so retention is an important part of any business strategy.
Research shows that 40% of employees of companies with poor training leave that company within the year.
Training is an important way of holding on to staff – it shows them that you are invested in them by investing in them. Offering programs that show staff their career development is important fosters loyalty among staff, and this ultimately leads to greater staff retention and a lower staff turnover rate.
There are also legal implications for not keeping staff training up to date, depending on the role or responsibilities of the employee.
For example, many businesses in the UK legally require one or more of their staff to receive first aid training and gain either the First Aid at Work or Emergency First Aid at Work qualifications. Similarly, food safety training in the foodservice industry is required. When SMBs think of training programs, they often think courses are unnecessary, but this could lead to overlooking important training that could have a negative impact on the health and safety of staff.
Think carefully about the training that would be most useful to individuals and to the business as a whole. A good way of ensuring that the right training is put in place is to consult with staff and ask them directly what training they need.
This can either take place in one-to-one meetings, as part of a team catch-up or through surveys sent out to all employees to gather a broader view of skill gaps within the company. From here, business leaders can assess where employees need extra support.
SMBs that don’t implement employee training will always be treading water. Learning is a vital part of the process in terms of thriving and expanding, so a business that aims for success should always consider training to be at the core of their culture.
This concept is something that the new breed of employees believes in. Graduates tend to agree that SMBs are the place to learn – 76% think they are more likely to learn more at an SMB than a large company. So, companies that want to attract the very best talent and top-tier graduates as part of their recruitment strategy should place great value on training and development.
SMBs need to understand that development can never be effective without accommodating ongoing training and learning.
Organizations need to support a culture of training and be committed to investing in their staff to address skill gaps within the business and to encourage employee engagement. As the business grows, the workforce will change and adapt accordingly, and this requires continual assessment and learning to keep up with new demands and roles.
Gemma Hart is an independent HR professional working remotely from as many coffee shops as she can find. Since graduating in 2013, Gemma has gained experience in a number of HR roles but now turns her focus towards growing her personal brand and connecting with leading experts. Connect with her on Twitter: @GemmaHartTweets
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