Insights from practitioners in Information Management

Issue 2 – Training

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In this issue…
We will be looking at training, professional development and further education in the work place. And are they one and the same?
• Training! What Training?
• Did You Know
• 10 Reasons to Invest in Training.
• A Thought to Ponder

Training! What Training? 

How much value does your organisation put on training? What about Professional Development and Further Education? Like most organisations they probably pay lip service to the fact that once you have your degree, and your ideal job then you should begin on the job training, and that it should be an ongoing commitment to you as well as your organisation. 

Whilst we are on the subject of training, do you and/or your organisation subscribe to any professional journals or magazines? Do you have time to read them at work? Or are you like the millions of other people who try and cram a few minutes reading into the journey too and from work each day?

Well the question I have to put to you today, is not what is the cost of you taking the time to read a magazine or an interesting article during your working day. Or going to a conference to learn about the latest goings on in your industry, or taking a training

course to learn about the best and latest piece of software that your organisation has just installed.  But quite simply – what is the cost to you and your organisation if you don’t? 

Did You Know?

That an annual survey carried out by Capita Learning and Development in the UK revealed that 47% of businesses rate communication skills as the most important area in which to train staff? The Annual Training Trends survey also revealed that small business (less than 25 employees) spend far more on training than larger firms, and allow their staff more time during working hours to develop their skills.

10 Reasons to Invest in Training:
1. Training lifts your business out of the pack and makes you more competitive. According to Steve Jones, the CEO of Suncorp Metway “Training is the critical link between delivering a first-class service, revenue growth is faster than anyone else in the industry, and having the most productive and satisfied work force.”
2. Training produces greater productivity.  Reduce your investment in training, and a few things will happen – your error rates will rise, losses and operational costs will go up as you have to go back over the same ground to fix up the problems caused, customer satisfaction would go down, by far the biggest concern if you are in the business of delivering customer service.
3. Trained staff will make you more money.  Hard to believe? Yes the outlay in training can be costly, but what is the cost to your business if you don’t? Happy customers will sing your praises. Disappointed customers will call everyone they know and tell them you were less than helpful.  And it all comes down to training.
4. There will be reduced staff turnover. What is the cost of hiring a new employee? Yes there will be some staff turnover, the nature of today’s work force ensures that that will happen, especially with fixed term contracts abounding.  But if your permananet employees can see that there is a strong cultural commitment to training, that the organisation cares about them to offer training and professional development, the chances are that those people will stay and will repay that debt many times over.
5. There will be higher staff morale.
Harry Debney, the CEO of Visy Industries says that “if you align the individuals objectives with the company objectives you will have a far greater gain.  Training improves their self-esteem, and morale is inexplicably improved.  They are less likely to go elsewhere.”
6. Training ensures that there is a happier, more productive work environment.  When was the last time you had a team building day.  Did you have fun? Did you learn anything from it?
7. Increased loyalty.
When people leave an organisation to gain new experiences, they become more valuable as employees when they return.  But if you can determine why they are leaving and then offer an incentive to stay with more and better training, you increase morale and you don’t lose your corporate memory either.
8. Positive Word of Mouth.
Every time a member of staff picks up the telephone, writes a letter or sends an e-mail they are marketing your organisation.
9. Expanding Skills and Knowledge Base
Training looks great on the CV, of course it does, but at an organisational level, a group of trained individuals will always out perform those people who haven’t been trained.  Can you just imagine how far a ship would travel if no-one knew how to sail it?
10. A highly productive organisation equals happy management, a healthy bottom line and an improving share price. Even not for profit organisations have to balance the books you know.
If you’re not in the business to make money, or to ensure that the money that you do make is spent wisely, then what are you in business for?  Being a leader means that you have to have a commitment to learning and knowledge exchange. You have to point people in the right direction.  And if you’re not, then maybe you need some training too.?

Taken from “Scaling heights: the role of training in business growth.”
Momentum Issue 5: June 2001