Training and development courses motivate staff, reduce turnover and are useful for identifying potential staff weaknesses.
It goes without saying, the performance of your staff has a strong bearing on that of your business. Your people are arguably your biggest asset – unless you offer them the opportunity to learn new skills, further their knowledge base and broaden their experience, they won’t develop – which could be the case for your business too.
Business training and development however is only effective if it meets a particular need. What corporate training do you feel your employees require? An appraisal is a good time in which to raise the question. Find out what your customers and your suppliers think of your business as this will give you further indication of any training gaps to fill. When your business grows, so too will the need for a different skills set – try and anticipate this by assessing who will be taking on new responsibilities and when. Similarly, employees who are under-performing or not reaching their targets will need to be tackled too.
Questions to ask
Assess whether the time and money you invest in training and development will reap the appropriate rewards – for example, are you looking to increase knowledge of legal compliance, introduce a higher standard of working, offer leadership training or motivate staff?
Set out a training and development plan. Use your job and person specifications to identify what skills your employees need now and in the future. It’s essential to get co-operation and understanding from your employees as to why they have to undergo business training and development – simply telling them to do it will not be a fruitful exercise. Involving them from the start gives employees the chance to examine their own training needs so courses can be tailored more easily. Finally, decide how you will measure the effectiveness of your training policy – there’s little point in spending time, money and effort on a training and development scheme if you have no idea whether it has worked or not.