Let’s face it. Many of us possess some form of lacking in our workplace skills. We may not necessarily have a full-fledged skill set complete with well-honed technical skills, excellent people skills or perfect job-specific skills as we dutifully should be. Employees generally learn and grow on-the-job, master new skills and work at gaining more knowledge to improve their work performance. Hence, it is crucial for employers to provide the necessary training programmes for employees to achieve their work objectives, benefiting both personal and company goals.
By continuously offering training programmes to your employees, what are the potential benefits you can gain as an employer?
1. Happier employees and improved productivity.
Compared to those who are stagnant and non-progressive, employees who receive substantial amount of training tend to be more excited and committed to their work, leading to better quality products and services.
2. A pool of talented skilled workforce.
By providing the necessary training programmes, you will build a workforce that is highly-skilled, effective and competent. You will have no issues in creating a succession plan as many of your employees are versatile and multitalented.
3. A good reputation company.
You will gain the reputation as a progressive company that cares for the development of its employees, making you very attractive to future job-seekers. This will give you an upper hand in the competitive job market.
So, how do you achieve this ideally-trained workforce? Below are some top tips you can consider when creating a training programme that is useful and practical for both you and your employees:
1. Assess what are the current needs/requirements.
You may start by assessing whether there are any new changes in your business or industry practice. For example, the current computer systems and databases that you use may require an update or you need to find out the glitch or cause of the noticeable slow-down in number of customers. Consider conducting a research or a survey on what are the current customer demands and latest trends in your industry as well.
2. Explore both technical and soft skills.
Make a list of which technical and soft skills are needed for your business to run smoothly. Technical skills are industry-specific and these are skills that your employees must have to complete their tasks. Some examples are knowledge of the latest programming languages, hardware or mechanical tools. Soft skills are equally important to complement technical skills. These include character traits and interpersonal skills such as work attitude, communication skills and time management.
3. Focus on job-specific skills.
Avoid running a generic training programme for all departments. Run a survey or speak with managers to find out what are the skills that will be required for their staff’s everyday tasks. Always customise your training programme accordingly and concentrate on skills that will really matter and relate directly to the job performance. For example, marketing team may require more training to enhance their soft skills as compared to heavier focus on technical skills for employees from the IT department.
4. Make known about your training opportunities.
Do not be shy in publicising your training efforts. Communicate your training opportunities in your marketing channels to promote your company brand. A company that constantly provides progressive training to its employees will always attract applicants who seek for progressive career development. These are also the kind of talents you would want to attract and retain in your workforce.
5. Determine the success rate.
Follow up and encourage your employees to give feedback or share suggestions to improve your training programme. That way, employees will feel valued and be more involved in your company’s commitment. Plan a questionnaire to gather those feedback and allow the option of anonymity. For example, before the training starts, you might want to check what are their expectations, how are they feeling during the training and specific questions as to whether they feel that objectives were met after the training has ended.
In conclusion, learning and upgrading skill sets is the recipe to success. It is an ongoing process that requires thorough observations from day one. It may be costly to conduct these necessary training programmes however, bear in mind that the long-term gains associated with employee training will prove to be one of the best investment decisions your company can make. Do not ask, “What if I train my employees and they leave?” Ask, “What if I don’t, and they stay?”
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