Maximising returns on employee training

For a business to flourish, it is important to stay abreast of new technology, methods and developments in industry.  It is therefore vital for business owners and personnel managers to keep updating the skillset provided by their company.

Training staff to implement new processes, or fill gaps in the business structure can be expensive. Besides course fees, employees undergoing training are not meeting their usual quota of production. So how can we ensure funds spent on skills development show an eventual pay-off in increased efficiency?

Identify the trainee

Training in managerial skills or other leadership abilities often results in an employee stepping up to a new spot on the company ladder. A worker who shows ambition and inherent leadership, but can’t afford to acquire managerial training might be overlooked when the time comes to promote. Seeing employees for their potential, and training them accordingly can prove to be a valuable investment.

Keep an eye out for members of the workforce who take a holistic interest in the business, not just their department. An ideal candidate for training investment is an employee who is concerned with the health of the company, and seems themselves as an essential part of it.

In turn, a valuable employee who is not exposed to new skill developments might get bored and neglect their work. Training is a great way to re-cement a worker’s emotional investment in their job.

Remember that just because an individual is currently working in a technical aspect like security jobs or maintenance, doesn’t mean they are not already seen as leader amongst other members of the workforce. Keeping an eye on employee interactions can give valuable clues as to who shows potential in management, and who is just there to pay the bills.

You can bring a horse to water…

Despite showing natural leadership or interest in a particular skill, not all employees are necessarily interested in training. A keenness to commit to learning is essential for training to be effective – more so perhaps than ability. An employee who is willing to put in energy and hours will often outperform one who has the capacity to perform outstandingly, but shows no initiative.

Allowing the training to bear fruit

Once an employee is trained in a certain aspect of business, or attained the leadership skills necessary to reach a new level in the business, it is important to award them the opportunity to gain relevant experience. A learning curve in implementing their newly acquired knowledge is inevitable, but skills are honed with use.

Be patient with allowing employees to become comfortable with implementing new skills. The pay-off might not be immediate, but getting impatient and reverting back to old methods means the training goes to waste.


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