It is a pretty easy decision for organisations facing the challenges of recession and turbulent times to switch off training. The decision is seen as an easy cost saving and often the first decision made. But research over time shows this to be false economy.
A new survey, “Training Out of the Recession” completed by The Economic Intelligence Unit, shows that employee skill enhancement is a vital component to increase productivity and profitability. The finding confirms that training not only leads to increases in productivity and customer satisfaction, but at least 20% jump in profits. This research involved 252 business executives from both the UK and the USA.
These findings come at a time when the UK government is under pressure to create jobs to aid the economic recovery while employers are saying jobs are not in short supply, but the workers with the appropriate skills and talent are. The skills gap, which determines the difference between the skills needed on the job and those possessed by the applicants, is of real concern to employers looking to hire competent staff.
So do the training and reap the returns is the plan to follow. But in doing so, make sure that the training is really needed. So a few lessons to help you on your way: Undertake your own gap analysis (or bring in an expert to do it for you) to determine where your staff are short. Consider using competent staff you have to do the training to overcome skill and knowledge gaps found, either on or off the job: coaching is a great approach for strong results. Where you have collective needs for training consider two approaches, firstly bring in an expert trainer to undertake the work at your establishment (there are significant cost advantages to doing this) and have as many people as possible attend the training, or secondly, send an employee on a training course and then use him or her to train the rest of your staff who need the training, again a very cost effective method of training. If you have a performance appraisal scheme, use it to assess training needs and analyse the results for all your employees and convert to a training plan; you will then see at a glance where you have the biggest need and can meet it quickly.
Finally undertake your own measurement of training. Ask those who have received training to evaluate it at the time it is delivered and then six months later ask them how it has benefited them and the company, giving objective measurement wherever possible (e.g. the use of Pareto Analysis to measure types of customer complaints has enabled actions to be taken which have reduced customer complaints overall by 18.6%). You will soon see which training is valuable and how it positively impacts on the business.
Dr Hugh Billot
HR GO Group of Recruitment Companies
HR GO Recruitment offers solutions to all your staffing needs, temporary and permanent, please call 0845 130 7000