Ask most company owners and bosses what their firm’s most valuable asset is, and you’ll typically get the same response – its staff. The employees in a company are its lifeblood and provide the goods and services that enable the business to turn a profit. Moreover, your staff are very often on the front line with clients and are the primary link between your firm and its customers – so having knowledgeable, helpful and polite staff is essential if you’re to maintain a good company image.
For your firm to run efficiently and productively, you should invest some time and energy in developing your team’s skills. Unfortunately, many companies view the onboarding of employees as sufficient training to do their jobs, where training your staff should be seen as an ongoing process to nurture and develop the skills of your staff and allow them to perform at their best.
How staff training benefits a firm
Employee training allows them to be more professional and will improve their relative skills; however, it can also offer considerable offshoot benefits to your company, including:
General cost reductions and quicker production schedules: A better-trained team will work more productively for your firm, reduce your overall operating costs, save time developing projects, and give you a better Return on Investment (ROI).
Increasing profits: In line with reducing costs and decreasing production times, well-trained employees will also have a direct effect on your profit margins.
Improve productivity levels: Skilled employees work quicker than those with less ability, which will directly benefit your overall productivity levels and output.
Raise the quality of your work: Well-trained employees will produce better, more accurate work, which will help encourage repeat custom from your clients.
Increase staff loyalty and job satisfaction in your team: Training has been proven to positively impact the loyalty and happiness of employees. If your staff feel you’re interested in their personal and career development, they’ll be far more likely to work harder for you and produce the best work they can.
Helping reduce staff turnover/absenteeism at work: One of the most common complaints among disgruntled employees who leave a job is that they didn’t know what was expected of them or hadn’t been provided adequate training to perform their role. Staff training allows your team to learn exactly what they need to do to work at the level you expect of them.
Helping your business adapt, change and grow: Often, providing your employees with extra training will allow them to develop additional skills that might see your firm changing direction or taking on different types of work. For example, suppose a web development firm chooses to put an employee on a web marketing course. In that case, they might find themselves later offering Search Engine Optimization (SEO) service to their existing website client base, thereby branching into a completely different area of web production.
Giving your company a positive competitive advantage over your rivals: Investing in your staff with additional training will improve their talents and skills – and having better-trained employees than your rivals will mean you can produce improved products and services in a shorter time, giving you a significant competitive edge.
Increasing the likelihood of attracting the best staff in the future: If your firm is seen as fostering career development, you’ll be far more likely to attract the best, most proactive team members in the future. With so little to choose between many companies operating in the same sector these days, being recognized as a firm that encourages the education and development of its staff might mean the difference between an applicant choosing to work for you or a rival.
Types of employee training
Not all staff training needs to be expensive or inconvenient, and there is now a huge range of courses that employees can take in their own time that won’t adversely affect their work or home life. For example, most colleges and universities offer night classes that your staff can attend after work that won’t eat up too much of their time. Also, you can develop in-house training software at a fraction of the cost of previous apps.
Alternatively, there’s been a growing trend among educational establishments in recent years to put much of their curriculum online for study over the internet. The advantages of online training are numerous, including:
Convenience: Allows staff to study at a time and place that suits them
Cost: Reduced course fees when compared to traditional classroom study
Option to review: Self-paced learning with the option to review sections the employee doesn’t fully understand.
Better course content: More varied teaching materials help students understand concepts better (e.g., videos, interactive presentations, quizzes, etc.)
Adaptability: Suits a variety of learning styles
You should also remember the various provider training courses that are available, often free of charge. For example, software company Adobe provides extensive knowledgebase articles to help users quickly get up to speed with their products.