Training is an important investment for any organisation to make. Many managers debate whether training is necessary for their business, but it can provide a variety of benefits to your staff, customers, and ultimately your profit, regardless of industry.
Unfortunately for many businesses, managers don’t approve staff training due to its costs. However, employees are key assets to any company and without them your business would not be able to operate. Therefore, it’s important to look past the initial investment and instead, focus on the long-term return.
Training encourages staff to develop their skills and knowledge, which can improve productivity, performance, and efficiency. This will progress your business, keeping it competitive within your market. Training also provides other benefits too that you shouldn’t glance over. As well as staying up-to-date, training allows many employees to feel more valued because their company is investing in them. This can motivate them to work harder, be more proactive, and work their way up the ladder. Training can lead to reduced staff turnover as well, thereby saving money, as there is less time and money spent on recruitment and training new employees.
What training is available?
If you have decided to start a staff training program within your business, this is only the first step of the process. Make sure you consider which topics will fulfil your training objectives.
Take a look below at some of the topics that your can cover with business training programs:
- IT training
Technology is rapidly digitalising many of our daily tasks. It is also developing at such a fast pace that it can be difficult to keep up. It’s important for staff to be trained on certain technologies so they can use them effectively within their role. This may include training on popular desktop software programs, such as Microsoft Office’s Word and Excel, or learning how to navigate Windows 8. You can also include more advanced level training, such as technical assistance with SQL and SharePoint. Technology is not going to stand still, so it is important to provide regular IT training for your staff. Without it, your team may feel alienated or worried that they are unable to be successful in their role due to their skill gap.
- Sales training
Although many of the principles of selling remain the same, there are always new approaches and tactics that can be learnt. Customers’ routines and buying habits are changing, especially with digital technology, which means your sales staff will need to adjust. For example, are they using LinkedIn or is there new software you can employ to track and monitor your sales funnel? Without effective sales training, your sales staff may get left behind, missing out on potential new business. Training is also a great way to help new staff build their confidence and master key selling skills.
- CRM training
Customer information is extremely valuable to your business, but only if you know what to do with it. Training can enable staff use the CRM systems much more effectively, providing them with a deeper understanding of when and how to engage with customers to build a valuable relationship.
- Management/leadership training
As a manager, your team will look up to you for help and advice. Having good leadership skills is important, as it will help you guide your team to success. By participating in training, managers can discover the key tools and techniques they need to lead a team, especially within today’s fast paced business environment. You may even find that there is someone within your business who, with some training, would be perfect for a management role. This not only shows your support for your existing staff, but will also save money on recruitment.
- Team building training
Not only do you need to provide your staff with the knowledge required to do their job effectively, but also to help them to grow as a team. Team building can include outdoor activities or challenges, where the team learns to work together, solve problems and trust each other. This type of activity can really your staff develop better working relationships with their colleagues, forming a tighter team that will work well together. Being part of a well supported team can also make staff happier in their role, so they enjoy their work and forward to each new working day.
- Project management training
Have any of your recent projects been delayed? As with all projects, it’s important to stay on track and avoid going over time and over budget. With increased demands on staff and businesses, this can become increasingly difficult. Training can sharpen your project management skills, providing new skills to keep projects running smoothly and profitably whilst managing risks.
- Customer service training
Excellent customer service is vital to any business. It encourages customer retention and is essential to developing a good reputation when attracting new customers. Make sure your team is able to manage customer service effectively and professionally, whilst being proactive in their approach. Staff training will allow your team to develop important skills, so they can provide outstanding service to each customer. Training and customer service guidelines will also make sure that your customer service is consistent throughout the business. Training can motivate your team to better understand the needs of your customers, thereby meeting and even exceeding all expectations. Your staff will be able to solve problems more effectively, which can be an excellent confidence booster that leads to higher job satisfaction.
- Health and safety training
Whatever industry you’re in, it’s important to manage health and safety procedures within your business in order to reduce incidents and stay in compliance with safety rules. There are a large range of courses to choose from, varying across industries from fire safety to risk assessment, manual handling, and many more. Make sure your staff understands how to stay safe and healthy in their place of work.
- Regulatory training
Rules and regulations change over time so it’s important to stay up-to-date with these. Arrange training that is specific to your industry and provide staff with all of the latest information on rules and regulations so they can be followed at all times.
Once you have decided what topics to cover, consider the format of your corporate training program. This can be online, classroom led, or blended learning (a combination of the two). You can run it yourself or outsource to a professional. You may also choose to host it in-house, or use a specialist business training facility.
Next, plan the frequency of training. Staff training provides huge benefits and with constantly changes in technology, development of new processes, and amended regulations, it’s important to consider regular, ongoing training to keep your employees’ skills up-to-date.
Photo: tec_estromberg – https://www.flickr.com/photos/92334668@N07/ – CC BY 2.0