One of the first areas that is generally cut back when costs are being saved is the training and travel expenses budgets. However, if it’s your aim to increase any of these areas; morale, teamwork, productivity, quality, delivery and staff retention then training is key. If your business stops learning how will you expect your staff to come up with new innovations, ideas and practices?
Another reason training is good for you as a company is by increasing skills it will lead to people having improved self-worth as well as a belief that you as a company care about their well being and progression. It will also go towards achieving that all-important acceptance to any transformational changes.
There are steps that can be put in place to help you recognise what skills you already have within your company and how to identify what others are needed, especially when supporting any planned transformation.
Review the roles you have and outline the competencies needed to fulfil those roles. Order these competencies by importance then compare these to the staff you have in those roles. Talk to line managers and staff to understand what training is needed to reach their full potential in those roles.
Map where your staff should be
Build a plan of where your staff should be based on their current role and skills and where if given the right training where they have the potential to end up. If you show you’ve really thought about their career progression you will retain staff longer so they don’t look elsewhere to find that progression.
Plan how they get there
Now you’ve identified what skills you have and what they need to have, the difficulty becomes what training is appropriate. Whether it’s internal workshops, external training, peer-to-peer mentoring, assigning champions to support process changes, new technologies, books or online tutorials, the key is quality. Bad training only leads to a waste of time, money and failure to achieve acceptance to change.
Training needs to assessed at regular intervals by the business as a whole and on an individual basis. Metrics for the uptake of a new technology, quality of delivery or understanding and implementing a new process, should be drawn up to prove if the training is actually effective. This supports the evidence that the transformation is also working.
Training can be done on a budget. You can implement pairing and mentoring as an effective way to raise skills as well as making people knowledge champions. These champions can deliver workshops on specific topics and be the go-to for questions. All this is achievable as long as you allow time and support for this to fit in any daily workload as well as rewarding those who take on extra responsibilities.