Within the day-to-day of business, it can be easy to lose sight of employee training. It’s probably not deliberate, with so much going on (especially over the last few years, which have been particularly disruptive), but it’s something that is felt nonetheless. Research suggests that around 40 per cent of employees and managers are unhappy with their on-the-job experience and ongoing training. The disconnect could be in the delivery approach or a range of factors that this article unpacks.
So, why is training so important, and how does it ultimately benefit the business? You might be surprised.
The benefits of a trained workforce
Training is an investment in your people, not a cost. As such, there’s a very clear ROI that comes from spending on training, and it’s actually one of the most effective things you can do for your people, providing a broad spectrum of benefits.
1) Training improves employee performance
Firstly, and most straightforwardly, training improves employee performance, helping them to be better and more effective at their jobs. The numbers are significant: organisations that offer comprehensive training programs report a 218 per cent higher income per employee and a 24 per cent better profit margin.
Why? Because a trained employee has a broader range of skills and capabilities and can contribute to their organisation in a more comprehensive manner. They’re also likely to have more confidence in their skills, which will mean that they’re more willing to speak up, and they’re also going to be more independent workers, requiring the assistance of peers or monitoring from a supervisor less frequently.
2) Training helps address skills shortages
Businesses of all sizes and at all scales are doing it tough when it comes to recruitment. With incredibly low unemployment rates, that is likely to continue into the near future, especially when it comes to highly specialised skills of a deskless worker.
One solution here is to give people within the organisation an opportunity to train in new skills on-the-job. Not only will this improve their perception of the workplace and loyalty to it, but it also allows the organisation to organically build out its own capabilities with little downtime.
3) Training helps mitigate the “great resignation”
One in five – 20 per cent – of employees will quit in 2022, in what is being termed the “great resignation.” Part of the reason cited is a desire to earn more money, and there have always been people that quit for that reason. However, a full two-thirds of people are looking for more fulfilment in the workplace, which implies that if they feel like they’re getting more out of their jobs, they’re likely to stay. Developing new skills can help boost workplace engagement and that sense of fulfilment with the job, so investing in training can help reduce the impact of the great resignation trend.
Where should the training be focused?
As outlined above a clear training plan that is linked to employee retention, progression and increased revenue is required. For example, putting staff on random training courses is not the way to invest in training. Nor do you want to be supporting your employees in training that is unrelated to the work that they’re doing. Instead, you want to focus on building a sustainable and strategic approach that focuses on developing workplace skills, with some of the key outcomes including:
1) Improving safety standards.
Safety is a number 1 priority in high risk industries so you need a training system that you can reply on for Verification of Competency. For example, Cloud Assess clients effectively supports site managers verifying workers competency before they embark in high risk work. They do this through preformated assessments in the app that can be accessed on a phone or tablet.
No matter how safe the workplace environment is, it would benefit the entire organisation if workers had a comprehensive understanding of safety and emergency response. The more your people have expertise in best practices in this field, the less the risk of human and capital losses in the event of an incident.
2) Finding better ways of working.
Cloud Assess developed an online solution that transforms the traditional ways to conduct assessments so that trainers can conduct training on the job, where the work is done. Take for example, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, where Cloud Assess helped in streamlining the delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations to all its members. With use of the system they could roll out a new, time-sensitive program to all of their members with a clear audit trail should the need arise.
Indeed, since the pandemic, workforces around the globe are leveraging software to connect their employees to the jobs to be done. It’s enabled employees to achieve their jobs with little friction and enable businesses to keep running.
3) Embracing automation.
Automation is increasingly available to handle low-level, repeatable tasks. Many employees are concerned about the implications of this for their jobs, but smart organisations will use it as an opportunity to retrain their employees into new areas of the business, learning new, higher-level processes that automation cannot handle.
This achieves a dual benefit for the business: employees are happier as they’re doing less mundane tasks, and the business benefits from greater levels of productivity and efficiency with the automation running in the background and handling the “run-rate” tasks.
4) Have a better understanding of the skills dynamics within the workforce.
When paired with a tool such as Cloud Assess, a formal and strategic training program can have the important effect of helping organisations to better understand the full breadth of skills within the business. Without a formal program, some of the employees will have skills that the business isn’t aware of (and they, therefore, miss out on the opportunity to use those skills, costing both their morale and productivity), and the business will be missing out on taking advantage of the full range of capabilities across the workforce.
As an additional benefit, in environments with mandatory skills, you have complete transparency across your training matrix and employee workforce. You can access reports to ensure compliance and observe trends that will help you manage risk.
Enjoy the benefits of an effectively trained workforce
Workplace skills are critical to any modern organisation, and an important part of employee engagement as discovered in a recent report conducted by Cloud Assess. Of those 1000 deskless workers that took part, Opportunities to Progress is in their top 5 workplace priorities so it’s important that, just as you should be reviewing employee pay rates and performance each year, you should be reviewing their skills and development too. A tool such as Cloud Assess allows your employee to access both on and off-site training, as needed. With a simple interface and user experience, this solution is the most effective way to rapidly skill up an organisation.