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training-employees

Why Training Your Employees Should Be a Top Priority

When it comes to slashing budgets, employee training is all too often willingly sacrificed in order to save money or make room for other resources. And the reasons behind doing so are not without merit; training can be expensive, cut into valuable productivity time and doesn’t outwardly contribute to profits in any way. However, in reality, cutting training actually increases the costs of your business and threatens to stunt its growth from the inside out.

There are many reasons why employers are reluctant to give their employees the opportunity to develop their skills. Some like to believe that only high-level employees should undergo regular training, others view it as merely a once-off exercise that should cover the basics. Many employers are even scared about putting the time and resources into training their staff in case a competing business poaches them and benefits from their developed skills. But ultimately, what you need to ask yourself is this; do you want to invest more in your employees, or less? Here are a few reasons why more is always better.

Employees who are well-trained are less inclined to quit

Contrary to popular belief, training your employees makes them far less likely to move on to other companies or roles. This is because an employee who receives regular training will feel more confident in their ability to fulfil their tasks and responsibilities. This means that they generally feel less confused with what they are meant to be doing and how to do it to a high standard, not to mention that training is often a great way to develop rapport and mutual respect between employees and upper management.

An untrained employee on the other hand will be far more likely to struggle with their workload and may feel underappreciated, a situation which can severely influence their decision to quit. And as we know, creating an environment that facilitates a high turnover rate is not only expensive and bad for team morale, but can earn you a bad reputation amongst potential clients.

Training develops positive attitudes

As mentioned before, developing the skills of your staff has a massive impact on their confidence and creates an environment where they feel they are contributing something of value to the company. Therefore, it stands to reason that those employees who don’t receive the benefits of training may begin to feel inadequate and hesitant to come into work each day. Without guidance and the ability to enhance their skills, they will begin to feel stressed, bored and unsure of where they are headed within their role. Any good manager knows that these feelings of discontent hinder the development of positive team morale and therefore must be avoided if you intend on maintaining a healthy and productive work culture. Remember – happy staff who feel valued and confident in their abilities is the key to success, even if you do need to spend a little more time and money training them in order to achieve it.

Training your staff is a profitable investment

Allocating the time and resources needed for training is not as economically beneficial in the short term when compared slashing this part of the budget entirely, but when you look at it from a long-term perspective it is certainly the better alternative.

To break it down, let’s have a look at certain qualities that an untrained member of staff may have:

  • Lower efficiency
  • Less knowledge on the services and products you offer
  • Not as competent in offering adequate customer service
  • Less productive

Of course, none of these attributes are desirable when you look at it from a profit perspective. Staff members who can’t complete tasks to a high standard or aren’t confident in their abilities drain resources, particularly when it comes to making a bad impression on a prospective customer or client. In comparison, an employee who is fully equipped on how to do their job to the highest quality will be able to put the best interests of the client or customer first, a quality that will prove invaluable to your business at the end of the day.

Don’t overlook entry-level staff

Do you think that the person answering your emails, working the front desk or handling customer enquiries doesn’t require any training? Think again. These are the employees on the front lines representing your company to current and prospective clients or customers. If they are uninformed, lack necessary knowledge or unable to perform their duties to a high standard, this impacts your reputation in a huge way. You may have an entire team of highly trained staff working behind the scenes to make sure that your product or service is the best in town, but if your entry-level employees aren’t skilled in the art of giving you a good name, it’s pointless.

Whether they’re working the cash register, answering phones or providing shop assistance, training can be used to make sure they go the extra mile to please your customers and clients. Just a few ways in which you can help them improve is…

  • Teaching them how to communicate effectively – the importance of eye contact, speaking clearly, being knowledgeable about the company and products they are representing and the best way to convey approachability.
  • Develop their initiative – training helps employees to feel more confident in what they can do, meaning that once they finish all their assigned tasks for the day they can move on to other areas that may need help but typically lay outside their comfort zone.
  • Equip them with the skills to navigate conflict – whether it’s an irate customer or a problem between co-workers, teaching your employees how to appropriately handle and diffuse a tricky situation will ensure that in times of high stress, they don’t say or do the wrong thing.

When it comes to entry-level jobs, remember that these employees may not have had a job before. By investing the time and resources into training them, you are helping to shape them into the type of professional you want working for you.

Ultimately, an employer should never write off employee training merely because it does not hold any immediate capital gain. But if you want to decrease staff turnover, impress clients and create an environment in which everyone enjoys working, you can help sustain the prosperity of your business.

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