Why Successful Companies Invest in Employee Training & Development

by Bukola Dovon Training Analyst at RS Hunter Limited, December 26, 2015 

Have you ever wondered what your customers think about the people you hire to work in your organisation?  How would they describe your organisation based on the interaction they have with your people?  How much do they overlook when it comes to conducting repeat business with your company?  If they had a choice, would they take their business elsewhere?

Customer Satisfaction Secrets

A well trained employee will certainly differentiate your organisation from that of your competitor.  Imagine a scenario where a customer service personnel ends a call without solving the customer’s issue or proffering possible solutions?  Worse still the employee is rude, doesn’t show concern and is unapologetic?  Unfortunately, situations like this occur everyday and in many instances the managers don’t get to hear about it.  In some cases, the first inkling they get is when revenue starts to dwindle.

Teachable MomentThe interesting fact is that the cycle doesn’t end there.  Lower revenue negatively impacts profits, the employer is forced to look at different ways to stay afloat possibly making cuts in it’s spending on employee benefits which then makes employees feel undervalued and demotivated and ultimately impacts individual and corporate performance.

There are two major reasons employers are reluctant to train their employees:

  1. Training is costly

Training your employees will definitely come at a cost but if done properly, the cost should be quantifiable and therefore budgeted for.  This allows adequate planning ahead of the expenditure.  On the other hand the consequence of inadequate training could be disastrous for the company.  Dissatisfied customers and a bad reputation as a result of defective products or poor service delivery could lead to a total loss of business.

  1. Trained employees become knowledgeable, attractive to the competition and ultimately leave

Investing in EmployeesMost have heard the famous Henry Ford quote “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”  Just imagine a scenario where all your ‘top’ performers become disillusioned with their prospects in your organisation and leave the company? What will be the calibre of those that stay and will they be able to carry the organisation forward?

Employee Training BenefitsFormal development of employees does not have to be costly.  In some instances, a manager spending some one-on-one time with their subordinate and guiding them on how to fill gaps that exist in their skills and learning needs could do the trick.  In addition, depending on the level and skill, you could develop in-house training guides that will improve ‘On-the-Job Training’ (OJT).  Because the modules are specifically designed for your organisational needs, they can be used for as long as they remain valid, thereby reducing the overall cost of training over the long term.

Classroom based teaching methods will always have their place and it’s important that where this is the best approach to enhance learning, it is used.  Remember that classroom sessions can be conducted in one of two ways:

  1. Online training modules
  2. Face-to-face interactive teaching sessions

Using a combination of the different training methods will surely get you the desired result.  Don’t forget that individual training and development plans must be designed based on the skills gap analysis of each employee for their present and future roles.

Successful companies have found that training their employees reduces inefficiencies, improves the retention of their top talent, increases loyalty and the overall productivity of their organisation.  So as you prepare your company to survive the ever-changing competitive sphere of business, commit to being a learning organisation and watch as new horizons open up.

The Combination Of Things

by Our Managing Partner, RS Hunter Limited, December 10, 2015

The purpose of all we do is somewhat similar to a cooking recipe and the final result depends largely on the various ingredients, the timing and the measure.

Having worked for a number of organisations and then being involved in starting up a business, the importance of getting things right has become clearer over the years.  As a candidate looking for work, an employee or a business owner, I have found that the key ingredients for success (the required combination of things) are actually quite similar.

3D Illustration of the word 'success' being cooked in a saucepan. Suggested concept – 'A Recipe For Success'

  1. Appearance – How do we appear as an applicant, an employee or as a business to those we want to be attractive to (the customers, employers, managers whom we hope will pay, employ or reward us)?
  2. Quality – What are the standards we commit to?
  3. Values – What do we stand for and how clearly does it show in the way we go about our business?
  4. Time – How do we view time and timeliness as an ingredient for success?

All new businesses are established with the aim of being profitable, this always means there is a huge focus on bottom-line performance of the organisation:

  • What sort of revenues can we generate?
  • How do we keep our costs low?
  • What will be our ‘go-to-market’ strategy?
  • Who are the best people to take us there?

grow-business-gross-profitAnswers to all of these will give us some sort of direction and shape our businesses or careers.

Likewise, as HR people, we may also be guilty of ignoring the rules for getting the best results with the ingredients we have.  We strive to hire the best people; competent, passionate, professional, loyal and so on, but sometimes we forget the combination requirements for getting the best experience from those we attract.

halfswirlwculture_thumb

To get the best out of our people (and in turn business success), we could look at these three ingredients for our workplace culture:

  1. Fun – Keeps people passionate, motivated, and interested.
  2. Focus – Keeps the end in mind, consistently reminding us of the values that are important to our success and our objectives.
  3. Fastidiousness – A culture that’s doesn’t forget the little details, keeps the facts in perspective, that pays attention to the little things that keep the people ticking.

 

Here’s food for thought

How do vision, values and business performance relate to each other?  What are we communicating and what are we actually doing? What do people see?  Can we be leaders if all we do is follow?

We sometimes need to create our own recipes to shape our reality and find the best combination that will achieve our bottom-line objectives, like salt and pepper there are some constants.  Putting things together in the right proportions will result in an outstanding performance that will exceed expectations which will in turn lead to an increase in profitability – the result of a winning business recipe.

The Perception: We need a lucky break, a series of things have to come together for us to have a breakthrough.

The Reality: Whilst having all the ingredients may lead you on the path to success, the path is often paved with obstacles and only the brave, the patient and the persistent actually achieve success.

The Combination: The right amount of experience, talent and ambition, a well-planned business strategy (value, people, profit) we will set you on the right path.Combination of things