The Benefits of Ongoing Staff Training and Development

When you stop developing your resources, stagnation follows.

Any arborist will tell you that if a tree stops growing it will never bear fruit. If you take your foot off the gas mid-race, you’re almost certain to lose. And if you row out into the middle of a lake and then stop paddling, you’re stuck.

A dynamic workforce requires a constant input of new ideas, new skills, and fresh perspectives. The last thing you want is for your employees to rest on their laurels and stop improving. If your employees stagnate, the work you produce will stagnate, too.

Instead, you should encourage your staff to develop their existing skills and learn new ones. You want them to enjoy their work, and part of that involves keeping things exciting.

This begins with you.

In order to create a culture of constant improvement, employers need to demonstrate the value of regular staff training and provide ample opportunities. Here are a few of the benefits of making ongoing training a priority.

Keep Up with Changing Technology

The only constant in technology today is that nothing stays constant. Hardware and software are improving at a rapid pace, and the rate at which they’re changing is accelerating.

Providing your staff with the training they need allows them to use these tools efficiently. It lets them take advantage of new features and better workflows. And it makes sure they’re aware of new products that can improve the quality and the quantity of their output.

It goes both ways. If you create a culture of constant improvement, you won’t need to bring every new technological development to your staff. Your staff will find new ways to improve their jobs by themselves. You will create a positive feedback loop.

The right technology can make or break an organization. You want to make sure you’re on the technological vanguard, not your competition.

Identify Weakness and Skill Set Gaps

It’s entirely likely that you have employees who are struggling to keep up with their colleagues. These are otherwise capable individuals who have a gap in their knowledge that’s degrading their ability to perform at their highest level.

Some may tell you, but many won’t for fear that they’ll be judged unworthy of their position. Instead, they’ll cover for their missing skills by working harder than they need to. Or they may lean on coworkers to pick up the slack, which makes those people less efficient.

Designing a system of ongoing training helps this situation because it lets employees know that it’s okay to admit that they don’t know something. It’s encouraged, in fact, because skill set gaps are the perfect places to focus your training efforts.

Ongoing training removes the stigma against weakness, which helps your entire staff get stronger.

Retrain to Retain

Workers are generally happy to remain in their jobs if they feel they’re being given opportunities to grow. Part of this involves creating paths for career advancement and salary improvement; however, building opportunities to refine skills and advance knowledge is just as important.

When your staff isn’t provided the time or the resources to explore better ways of doing things, boredom and dissatisfaction often follow. You don’t want employees to feel that the only option they have to sharpen their skills and improve their careers is to find another company to work for. You want to make sure they can grow right where they are.

Advance Employee Skills

Making training available to your employees creates a better, more well-rounded workforce. Knowledge is a precious resource, and training allows you to cultivate more of it without altering the composition of your company.

Imagine there’s a specific skill that would make a difference in your current workflow. It’s more economical to train an existing employee in that skill than it would be to hire a freelancer, and far more prudent than hiring another employee. Training is an extremely affordable way to increase the skill sets available to your teams.

It’s also useful to remember that not all skills are found on a job description. Soft skills, like effective communication, an ability to delegate, adaptability, and conflict resolution are central to many positions.

These professional skills become increasingly important as employees gain responsibility and move up in their careers. Having an HR-centered skills advancement program in place can help prepare workers for the rigors of management, which benefits both them and their teams.

Training also helps employees retain important skills that they don’t frequently have a reason to use. Ongoing education keeps your staff primed for the unexpected. Think of it as an insurance policy against skill loss.

Attract New Talent

A robust, business-wide training program is a benefit that you can tout to prospective employees in the same way you advertise your health, bonuses, and RRSP matching benefits.

Training offers real value to those considering working for you because they know that it would cost them money and time to acquire new skills outside of the workplace. With a training program, they get to learn while pulling a salary.

It’s a win for them and it’s a win for you. Money spent on training is an investment in your employees and it pays dividends, not only with your current workers but also with future staff members you haven’t yet hired. Adding a training package will help you nab higher-value employees, which further strengthens your position in the market.

Beat the Competition

In a very real sense, your organization is your people. The better trained they are, the better prepared your company is to compete and win in a challenging marketplace.

If you found out that your competition was making ongoing education a priority, you would immediately institute your own training programs, wouldn’t you? Otherwise, you’d risk falling behind. The reality is you can’t really know what your competition is doing, so you have to assume the worst, and prepare your people to be as competent and valuable as possible.

Let Us Be Your Partner

In order to be highly effective, a training program should enlist the aid of experts. Otherwise, you’re just spinning your wheels. We can help support your ongoing software and business education efforts by supplying the know-how and the support to disseminate it.

Curious what courses we offer? Take a look at our Computer training and Professional Skills training courses here.
We can help you plan and customize your training! Contact JN Software at 416-264-6247 or info@jnsoftware.ca to find out more about working with us as your training partner.
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