The Importance of Training & Development in the Workplace
Training presents a prime opportunity to expand the knowledge base of all employees, but many employers find the development opportunities expensive. Employees also miss out on work time while attending training sessions, which may delay the completion of projects. Despite the potential drawbacks, training and development provide both the company as a whole and the individual employees with benefits that make the cost and time a worthwhile investment.
Most employees have some weaknesses in their workplace skills. A training program allows you to strengthen those skills that each employee needs to improve. A development program brings all employees to a higher level so they all have similar skills and knowledge. This helps reduce any weak links within the company who rely heavily on others to complete basic work tasks. Providing the necessary training creates an overall knowledgeable staff with employees who can take over for one another as needed, work on teams or work independently without constant help and supervision from others.
Improved Employee Performance
An employee who receives the necessary training is better able to perform their job. They become more aware of safety practices and proper procedures for basic tasks. The training may also build the employee’s confidence because they have a stronger understanding of the industry and the responsibilities of their job. This confidence may push them to perform even better and think of new ideas that help them excel. Continuous training also keeps your employees on the cutting edge of industry developments. Employees who are competent and on top of changing industry standards help company hold a position as a leader and strong competitor within the industry.
A structured training and development program ensures that employees have a consistent experience and background knowledge. The consistency is particularly relevant for the company’s basic policies and procedures. All employees need to be aware of the expectations and procedures within the company. This includes safety, discrimination and administrative tasks. Putting all employees through regular training in these areas ensures that all staff members at least have exposure to the information.
Employees with access to training and development programs have the advantage over employees in other companies who are left to seek out training opportunities on their own. The investment in training that a company makes shows the employees they are valued. The training creates a supportive workplace. Employees may gain access to the training they wouldn’t have otherwise known about or sought out themselves. Employees who feel appreciated and challenged through training opportunities may feel more satisfaction toward their jobs.
Effects of Training on Employee Performance
SeaLand company can reap the rewards of providing training for their employees because well-trained workers help increase productivity and profits. Investing in employee training should improve worker retention rates, customer satisfaction and creativity for new product ideas. Effective training saves labor by reducing time spent on problem-solving and saves money in the long run by producing a better workforce.
Saving Time and Costs
Investment in training can improve the company’s financial standing. Poor performance often results when employees don’t know exactly what they’re supposed to do, how to do their jobs or why they need to work a certain way. Training can help solve these performance problems by explaining the details of the job.
This should reduce duplication of effort in the workplace, the time spent correcting mistakes and the problem solving necessary to correct bad performances. Improved performance from employee training can reduce staff turnover, lower maintenance costs by reducing equipment breakdowns and result in fewer customer complaints. Better performance from employees typically creates less need for supervision and brings increased worker output.
Job satisfaction generally increases and self-esteem improves when employees better understand the workings of the company. Training can also enhance morale on the job and loyalty to the company. Workers who believe their company offers excellent training opportunities are generally less likely to leave their companies within a year of training than employees with poor training opportunities.
Expectations and Needs
Training plays a key role in employee commitment, too. The training program must meet the expectations and needs of the employees, though. Companies are more likely to retain employees who view their training as relevant to their jobs and subsequently have a positive commitment to their company. A successful training program consists of management providing employees with accurate information and communication about the training as well as a program that ensures that training is relevant to their jobs.
Training can be done internally by current employees, or by hiring an external company or consultant. Determine what it is you want your employees to learn through training. Then see if someone in your organization has those skills and would be able, and have the time, to do the training.
Keeping well-trained employees pays off significantly for companies because the cost of employee turnover can be high. Costs include separation costs, such as exit interviews, administrative functions related to termination, severance pay and unemployment compensation. Replacement costs consist of attracting applicants, entrance interviews, testing, travel and moving expenses, pre-employment administrative expenses, medical exams and supplying employment information.
Studies show that the cost of replacing employees increases with the level of the employee
Many factors determine whether a training program will be effective for a company that has lost employees, depending on how many workers are leaving. For example, using temporary workers to fill in for former employees on occasion might actually save costs. Management can determine if a training program will work out by looking at the increased workloads for employees caused by vacancies, the stress, and tension from turnover, declining employee morale and the decreased productivity that results from high loss of employees.
Developing an Effective Employee Training Program
Developing an effective employee training program provides multiple benefits for employees and the company, but only if they are carefully planned and properly implemented. A clear understanding of policies, job functions, goals and company philosophy lead to increased motivation, morale and productivity for employees, and higher profits for your business. Training is a means to a specific end, so keeping goals in mind during the development and implementation stages of your training program will assist in creating a clearly defined and effective program.
Define Needs And Goals
Define the needs of your company by identifying weak areas where training would prove beneficial. Examples may include how to use machinery, office equipment or process, time management, conflict resolution, harassment or company policies.
Define short- and long-term goals of the company, and identify possible training to meet those goals. Examples may include increasing productivity, enhancing customer service or improving employee relations.
Develop individual training modules based on your defined needs and goals. Training may be purchased from training companies or developed by a member of your staff educated in employee training.
Identifying Employees And Planning
Plan your training by identifying individuals or groups likely to benefit. Some training modules, such as those covering company policies and time management, for instance, should be given to all employees. Skill-based training, such as how to use a piece of equipment or perform a specific job duty, may only benefit employees whose jobs are directly impacted by such knowledge.
Plan a regular training schedule that will satisfy training needs within a specified time-frame. Getting all current employees trained will take time, so plan your training during slow periods or after business-hours to avoid undue work disruptions. Business owners must recognize that training is an investment in the future of the business, so training costs and downtime are to be expected.
Implement training modules in the order of importance. If customer service or time management are major issues, roll out those training sessions first.
Use a professional trainer or experienced employee whenever possible. The trainer’s interaction with the audience and presentation of the material is a major factor in training effectiveness.
Use multi-media tools. Professional training organizations use slide-shows, whiteboards, and videos in addition to written material. Quizzes, Q&A sessions, games or role-playing are sometimes incorporated to keep participants involved.
Create an employee feedback form to rate the training and collect comments and opinions as to the training session’s perceived effectiveness. The most effective training modules and programs are those improved or altered when needed, and participant feedback must be taken seriously to grow the program and gauge its impact.
Make training a part of every new employee’s orientation going forward. You’ll probably play a lot of catch-up with current employees, but new hires are prime candidates for training during their first days on the job.