Why it’s vital that you invest in employee training and development

Samantha Rutter

“One thing’s for sure. If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.” – Stephen Covey

By Samantha Rutter, chief executive of the Open Study College, based at Birmingham Business Park.

For many businesses, implementing an employee training and development programme isn’t a top priority. However, when a company’s employees are its biggest asset, it’s essential that their employer invests in them. It’s a well-known fact that a business will get out of its employees what it puts in. As the above quote from business author and educator, Stephen Covey suggests, if a business wishes to grow they will need to give their staff the training they need to develop their skill set and progress not only themselves, but the business too.

This week marks Adult Learners Week, a weeklong event that highlights the benefits of continuing to learn throughout adulthood, organised by the Learning and Work Institute. Awareness weeks such as this present a great opportunity to underline the importance of businesses investing in their employees and encouraging them to take part in training and development. One trait shared by successful companies is the commitment to investing in staff because they understand that by developing the knowledge and skills of their workforce, they are cultivating the ability to propel their business forward. A recent study conducted by The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Halogen discovered that 27% of employees surveyed were “dissatisfied with the opportunity to develop their skills in their job.”

There are many benefits that a business can take advantage of that result from investing in employee training and development. The main positive factors to consider are:

Increased engagement
Without training, it’s common for staff to feel bored and detached from the business. An effective way to increase employee engagement and interest in their work is to introduce a training and development programme. Training sessions and opportunities help employees to feel like valued members of the team, encouraging them to become more invested in the business.

Enhanced performance
Staff who receive training and development throughout their role naturally perform more effectively in the workplace. The training they receive will boost their confidence and improve motivation levels, encouraging staff to work harder. Essentially, training and development ensures that employers get the maximum return from each employee to drive their business forward.

Improved retention
Without providing opportunities for employee development, it is unsurprising when employees decide to seek out new roles elsewhere. Ultimately, staff want to feel valued and be developed in their role by learning new skills and gaining knowledge as it keeps them interested in their work. By implementing an employee training and development programme, employers will not only reduce staff turnover, but also attract new employees and enhance their reputation.

Promote internally
By introducing employee training sessions, employers can build on their team’s skills and knowledge, making internal employees better candidates for promotion. Employers will find that their training and development is particularly beneficial when a position becomes available and they already have talented individuals who can be promoted to fill the vacancy. Not only does this approach save time and money on recruitment, it also boosts staff morale when they can see the potential to progress in their current workplace.

When it comes to employee development, it’s important that employers keep the bigger picture in mind. Improving their team’s knowledge and skills will help their business to stay ahead of the curve and offer the best service possible. When considering implementing a training and development programme, employers will need to plan carefully and ask themselves:
What is the skillset of my staff right now?
What skills and knowledge does my business need to progress?
Within my business, who could be trained to fill that skills gap?

It’s clear by now that implementing an employee training and development programme offers many business benefits. It saves money, enhances staff performance and engagement, and improves a company’s flexibility and ability to adapt to changes in the marketplace. And who wouldn’t want more loyal, motivated employees?

Education doesn’t stop when you leave school, college or university and it most certainly shouldn’t take a backseat when someone enters the workplace. In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world gaining an education should be a lifelong journey for each and every one of us.

For further information visit www.openstudycollege.com