Working smarter

How to reap the benefits of training for employees

Ongoing employee training is critical. If staff aren’t keeping up with constant change and learning new things, your business will fall behind.

Successful businesses have an ongoing training philosophy that is firmly embedded in their organisation’s culture.

The benefits of training are far-reaching. Employees are integral to achieving business objectives and raising business performance. To do their jobs efficiently and effectively, staff need up-to-date skills and best practice methods. 

Training equips people to reach their full potential and ensures there is a strong reservoir of talent to continue to grow the business – so there are training benefits for employees and businesses alike.

Effective training is key to developing staff who know and understand their responsibilities and are keen to further develop their abilities. Training should also foster stronger commitment and loyalty from employees who appreciate the time, money and effort a business has invested in their development.

Ongoing staff training ensures a business survives, stays on track, and stands out from the rest.


The benefits of training at a glance

Thorough staff training:

  • provides job enrichment by enabling employees to grow their knowledge and reap the benefits of specific skills

  • increases employee morale, confidence and job satisfaction

  • empowers staff to tackle new situations confidently

  • improves loyalty resulting in reduced staff turnover

  • improves productivity

  • improves workplace health and safety

  • enables clear, measurable results in job performance

  • can bring improved and innovative ideas into the workplace

  • enables the implementation of new policies or strategies

  • addresses technological, legislative or economic changes

  • addresses restructuring or business changes.

Where to start with staff training

Ensure there is commitment from the top

For training to be successful, it must start with a commitment from the employer and recognition of the benefits it brings. These attitudes must cascade down through all levels of management and the business.

Ensure training has both responsibility and accountability

This needs to be built into its structure – managers and employees must accept training is required, implemented, monitored and assessed.

Training doesn’t stop after induction training. It’s easy to think of staff only in their current positions: it‘s more difficult to try and foresee the future needs of these people. Yet existing employees need to acquire new skills and knowledge for any number of reasons. 

Create, foster and support a learning culture

Business owners, leaders and senior management need to display strong leadership skills and consistently demonstrate an impressive array of management and technical skills and abilities. 

Innovative practices, imperative for the future, require new ways of thinking and new skills, and these competencies require training.

Get a return on investment (ROI)

All training should be focused on producing a targeted result for the business. You need to determine what to expect in return – specific business outcomes. 

Identifying measurable results, or ROI, will ensure the value of training is clear to decision-makers. There are seven essential steps to identifying your training needs:

1. Analyse the skills and knowledge required by your business to succeed. Consider both current and future training needs.

2. Compare these to the skills and experience available. This will provide an understanding of existing strengths and weaknesses.

3. Consider if there are particular underlying knowledge and skills required to do particular jobs.

4. Determine if there are existing business or industry competency standards.

5. Identify any gap of knowledge and available skills.

6. Prioritise the gaps in knowledge and skills.

7. Identify barriers that may exist in the workplace that will have an effect on the outcomes of training.

Determine whether to use an internal or external training provider

Internal training is great if a business has the resources, but be mindful of becoming too inwardly focused. External consultants will tailor courses to your needs and can deliver on-site, which is great if you have several staff members that need the same training. 

Training companies generalise their course structure to cater for the wider market. Typically, they offer one to two-day courses every few weeks, which is useful if you need to get a staff member on a course rather urgently. 

Should you want the learning reinforced over a longer spread of time, TAFE is a good option. Courses generally run a couple of nights per week over a 12-week period and will give trainees a nationally recognised qualification. Local community colleges also have a similar setup, but generally their courses are not accredited. 

Online learning is ideal for staff who want to choose the time and place of their learning.

Always use a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), as this will give your business and its staff the assurance of accredited training that is nationally recognised and can be used towards further education.

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