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?
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.
The 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:
- 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.
- Trained employees become knowledgeable, attractive to the competition and ultimately leave
Most 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?
Formal 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:
- Online training modules
- 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.