Employees play an indispensable role in the success of any company. The business can’t run effectively if staff is ill-prepared to work in a way that meets or exceeds expectations; and when employees lack access to professional growth opportunities, both performance and job satisfaction tends to suffer. This is why it’s essential that employers provide adequate training and quality professional development.
All too often, employers consider training an expense that’s difficult to justify, but the right training at the right time is a worthwhile investment that pays off in ways companies can’t afford to ignore. Neglecting employee training not only contributes to costly mistakes and missed opportunities, but disregard for employee development can also negatively affect your company culture and put a damper on morale.
Companies of all sizes — and small businesses in particular — often fail to prioritize employee development for seemingly practical reasons. While management focuses on the most essential day-to-day operations, the longer-term outlook on employee development planning generally gets less attention. Training requires time away from other responsibilities and can interfere with productivity in the short term. Plus, many leaders simply don’t know what skills and knowledge their employees lack or how to select or develop an effective training program that produces results.
But quality training and development offers a prime opportunity to invest in your most valuable resource — your employees and leadership team. It’s a critical component to aligning your workforce with your organization’s specific strategic needs.
6 Benefits of Quality Training & Professional Development
Higher Adherence to Quality Standards
In every business, employees need to know what is required of them to meet baseline expectations and quality standards. This requires companies to implement comprehensive new hire training and onboarding as well as regular ongoing training on company policies, procedures, and overall requirements related to job duties, operations, and ethics.
Improved Employee Weaknesses
Every team has weaknesses that can be improved by implementing effective training and development programs. Whether the issue is lack of skill or lack of knowledge, development planning allows you to identify and strengthen weaknesses that are affecting your bottom line. From basic task know-how to operational efficiencies and critical soft skills, improvements can be incremental or even dramatic when leadership commits to providing training programs that can move the needle.
Enhanced Employee Strengths
If you focus all your training and development efforts on weaknesses, you will miss the opportunity to maximize existing strengths. Too many training and development efforts fall short when they don’t factor in employees’ existing talents and abilities. Studies have shown that employees respond favorably when they receive feedback and development opportunities that recognize and nurture their innate strengths, leading to higher engagement, productivity, innovation, happiness, and retention.
Better Employee Morale
Employees want to feel appreciated. Providing training and development opportunities is one of the best ways for an employer to show they value the people who work for them. Entry-level employees and team member feel appreciated and better prepared to do their best. Top performers and leaders bring their A-game when they have access to both skills training and career development opportunities, and employees who are strong contributors appreciate being surrounded by teammates who able to pull their weight as well. A poorly trained workforce with few opportunities for growth breeds a low-morale work environment.
Reduced Employee Turnover
Gone are the days when companies could rely on employee loyalty, and vice versa. In today’s marketplace, employees — especially top performers — are well aware that they need to be smart about managing their careers. So smart leaders know career development is integral to job satisfaction and retention. If your best and brightest employees are not getting the career development opportunities they desire, they will look out for their own best interests and seek job opportunities that provide a path for growth.
Strengthen Your Company Reputation
Offering quality training and development will strengthen your brand reputation and give you a competitive edge. By equipping employees with opportunities to grow their skills and professional development, you’re setting them up to do their best work with greater productivity and innovation. Your customers will sit up and take notice of better products and services. Plus, when your company has a reputation for offering quality training and development opportunities, your recruiting efforts improve as you attract the attention of high-caliber job candidates. The best places to work are known for the emphasis they place on employee development opportunities.
Why Customized Training Solutions Matter
Sometimes the only edge you have on your competition is your people. Training and development is one of the best ways to invest in your employees and inspire them to help you reach your business goals. Your top performers and high-potential employees not only want to gain skills, but they also want to grow professionally and contribute at a higher level.
If an employee needs to pick up a specific new skill quickly, an out-of-the-box training solution might make sense. However, if you’ve identified a critical knowledge gap, a weakness in your organization, or a strength that you want to maximize, it’s best to seek training solutions customized to your unique organization – your values, culture, policies, procedures, and your road to success!
Your training and development efforts may include a mix of one-on-one coaching and mentoring, job rotation and shadowing, and career enrichment opportunities, as well as specific workshops, seminars, and other learning experiences — all designed to meet your organization’s needs.
An effective employee development program starts by identifying the desired outcome, for both the organization and individual employees. This requires gaining executive support, involving the leadership team in the process, integrating development with performance management programs, and considering each employee’s needs along with the overall business goals. You’ll want to execute plans consistently and hold leadership accountable for developing their teams and direct reports.
If you’re wary of making the investment, it might be because you’ve bought into off-the-shelf, heavily marketed training programs in the past and found that you received little value for your investment. It’s important to seek a training and development provider that offers cost-effective solutions, customized with your needs in mind. Smarter, happier, more efficient employees are in YOUR budget!
Discover the customized training and development solutions and leadership training offered by HR Answers, including 1-hour sessions, half-day learning experiences, and workshops to meet your company’s unique needs.