Employee training and development often gets pigeonholed into a line item on the budget that is isolated and often unused or dismissed. Training is usually considered essential when employees start the job, but a lot of companies never offer additional training after those first days. Additional training and development are usually considered “luxuries” that get cut from the budget when times are tight or when other things are needed.
Yet training and development should not be considered a luxury – it is a necessity. Here are just a few of the reasons why providing consistent and ongoing training and development for your employees is essential for your company:
The Needs of the Market Change, and Your Employees’ Skills Must Change to Meet Those Needs
So many things can change over the course of your business. Where you sell your goods, how you market to your target audience, how you sell your services, and how you contact your customers can all change, among many other things. When the needs of the market change, your employees must be ready to satisfy those needs.
You can’t expect your employees to always be able to change with the market through sheer motivation and hard work. You need to provide employee training and development to give them those skills.
This training might be for practical things like learning how to use new software or equipment, or it might be about development foundational skills, such as innovative ways to close a sale or more effective methods for nurturing client relationships.
By providing this training and development routinely, you can ensure that your employees are always ready to meet the market where it is, and that will ensure that your company is one step ahead of your competitors and can always get the customers you need.
New Training Can Inspire New and Innovative Ideas that Push Your Company Forward
People may fear change, but change is necessary for growth. Without growth, your company will stagnate and will, at best, remain where it is or, at worst, fail.
Your employees can be one of the best sources of change in your organization. Their ingenuity and innovation can lead to ideas for new products and services, a more efficient way of performing certain processes, or a way to lower costs, among others.
By offering consistent training and development opportunities for your employees, you are shaking things up and providing opportunities to inspire your employees. You never know what connections they will make through their learning that will lead to the next great idea that can change the way things work at your company (for the better).
Provide consistent development opportunities for your employees both within your company and through other organizations. Take the long view when you identify development opportunities, rather than focusing on the immediate benefit.
Development Can Provide Essential Skills that Motivate and Empower Your Employees
No one likes to feel like they are going nowhere in their job or their career. When employees start to feel like that, they have lower morale and motivation, and they won’t work as hard for your company. In fact, they will start costing your company money by calling in sick more frequently and doing less work when they actually are in the office.
Providing them new skills through ongoing employee training and development can help them feel like they are growing and have opportunities within your company and for their career. That will make them feel more excited about what they are doing, which will inspire and motivate them. Training and development opportunities keep morale up, which keeps employees happy and productive.
Learning new skills can also help employees to feel empowered, and that will make them want to take more risks, present more new ideas, and take more responsibility for their work and how it impacts the overall growth of the company. More empowered employees are more motivated employees, and they will help your company reach its full potential in terms of everything from sales to brand identity.
Training Employees to Use New Software Can Make Your Business More Profitable
Technology seems to change in the blink of an eye. While your company may have once seemed cutting-edge because it accepted credit cards through its cash registers, it will now seem outdated if it doesn’t accept payment through a mobile tablet or a smart phone app.
Technology will change quickly for the type of computers you use in the office or to serve customers, software, payment processors, production equipment, and much more. You cannot remain competitive and profitable if you are not regularly updating your technology.
When you introduce new technology, you cannot expect your employees to automatically know how to use it. You need to offer comprehensive training on not only how to use the technology, but also how to make the most of it. So they should know more than how to turn on that computer and open a word-processing program; they should know how to take advantage of all the advanced features to finish their work more quickly or to provide better service to your customers.
You should have ongoing employee training and development that focuses on learning new technology because you should regularly be introducing this technology to your work force.
Training Will Help Employees through Organizational Change and Ensure Its Success
Change is not only inevitable; it’s desirable. It is far better to create a plan for change so that your company can grow and meet goals rather than waiting until change is forced upon you and you are scrambling to keep up or to regain order out of the chaos.
Ideally, you will develop a formal change plan to introduce planned changes to everything from your work force to how you manufacture your goods. Whenever you introduce any change, you will need to provide employee training and development to ensure that employees know how to properly navigate the new processes or to use the new equipment.
For maximum growth, your company should be introducing a change plan regularly, which means that regular training and development should be provided. If it’s been awhile since you last offered training or development, it’s a good sign that you haven’t been introducing change as often as you should have.
Managing Change and Employee Training with the Right Software
Even though change may be inevitable, it is rarely easy – especially since it is so hard for employees to accept. Creating a plan for change, including the employee training portion of it, will make it easier to be successful. So will using the right change management software.
Using the right software and relying on the feedback and leadership of the right people will help you find success with your change plan and grow your company to reach its full potential.