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To Train or Not to Train - is that the Question?

If you were given the choice between two different doctors— one was trained, the other not— which one would you choose?

Even if there was no “up-front” cost for the untrained doctor? You still wouldn’t use them would you?

Yet many business owners do not recognise the importance of employee training.

Most business owners wouldn’t hire unqualified employees. However they hire them on specific skills and sometimes through the course of their employment they become under-qualified due to changing technology or the development of new methods.

Training presents a prime opportunity to not only expand the knowledge base of your employees, but to also engage and show your employees you value them.

But many employers in the current climate find development opportunities expensive.

Training does come at a cost. As does not training.

'What if we train them and they leave?'business owners often ask

'What if you don't train them and they stay?'is my reply

The two biggest resources used for job training are time and money.

Some of the excuses not to train are:

“We are too busy to learn something new right now.”

“We just don’t have the money to pay for training.”

Employees attending training sessions also miss out on work time which may delay the completion of projects. However despite these potential drawbacks, training and development provides both the individual and organisations as a whole with benefits that make the cost and time a worthwhile investment. The return on investment from training and development of employees is really a no brainer.

Another reason businesses often neglect to train employees is because of past training experiences. Sometimes the training was done poorly, or the topics just didn’t help. That could happen for several reasons. Failed training comes at a high cost, and businesses often don’t want to take that risk.

However, not training your employees also comes at a high cost.

Here Are 5 Truths That Underscore the downside of NOT Training.

1. Untrained Employees = Disengaged Employees

Employees who feel inadequate, underachieving, or unsupported are disengaged. They aren’t satisfied in their work, which will cause them to underperform, make mistakes, and not care about their work product. They are not present, even when they are at work. They sometimes have a 'who cares' attitude.

2. Untrained Employees = Low Productivity

The quality of their work is lower and of less value. The quality in performance is lower than it could (or should) be. They don't feel valued so why should they perform over and above what is expected of them?

Training improves efficiency and productivity of employees. Well trained employees show both quantity and quality performance. There is less wastage of time, money and resources if employees are properly trained.

3. Untrained Employees = Unhappy Employees

Unhappiness in the workplace spreads - one unhappy employee can quickly infect the entire team. This can then cause conflict, disruption and even cause great people to leave the workplace.

4. Untrained Employees = More Supervision

A well trained employee will be well acquainted with the job and will need less of supervision. Thus, there will be less wastage of time and efforts.

5. Insufficient Staff Training = Lost Customers

Untrained employees affect your clients too. If your team are not trained, especially when it comes to people skills, it will quickly turn your customers away.

Training programs have an easily measured up-front cost of time and money. Those line items are difficult to handle on a tight budget. However, added costs of poorly trained staff shows the importance of training employees. These costs do not come in the form of line items, so they are often ignored or unseen.

So what are the benefits?

Here Are 8 Truths That Underscore The Importance of Training.

( Yep - there are more benefits than not when it comes to training)

1. Improved employee performance.

Employees who receive the necessary training are more able to perform in their job. Training will give employees a greater understanding of their responsibilities within their role, and in turn build their confidence. This confidence will enhance their overall performance and this can only benefit the company. Employees who are competent and on top of changing industry standards help your company hold a position as a leader and strong competitor within the industry.

2. Improved employee satisfaction and morale.

The investment in training that a company makes shows employees that they are valued. The training creates a supportive workplace. Employees may gain access to 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.And this quite often equates to a higher retention rate.

3. Addressing weaknesses.

Most employees will 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.

4. Consistency in the workplace.

A robust 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. Increased efficiencies in processes results in financial gain for the company.

5. Increased productivity and quality of standards.

Productivity usually increases when a company implements training courses. Increased efficiency in processes will ensure project success which in turn will improve the company turnover and potential market share.

6. Increased innovation in new strategies and products

Ongoing training and up skilling of the workforce can encourage creativity. New ideas can be formed as a direct result of training and development.

7. Increased Retention of Employees

Employees are more likely to feel valued if they are invested in and therefore, less likely to change employers. Training and development is seen as an additional company benefit. Recruitment costs therefore go down due to staff retention.

8. Enhances company reputation and profile

Having a strong and successful training strategy helps to develop your employer brand and make your company a prime consideration for top talent. Training also makes a company more attractive to potential new recruits who seek to improve their skills and the opportunities associated with those new skills.

An investment in your employees’ skill sets is an investment in your company. When everyone gets better, everyone gets better.

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