Why is staff training and development important?

6 November 2020

A group of employees being given a staff training session.

Through the introduction of training and development in a professional setting, employees are able to expand their knowledge and understanding of a vast array of different skills and processes. When done correctly, this can be a positive move for both the individual employee and the business as a whole, but despite this, many business owners still fail to provide additional training and development to their workforce.

With companies of all industries and sectors investing in their members of staff and believing in the importance of training and development, now could be the time to start considering introducing it yourself. However, just how important is it? In this blog, we explain exactly what staff training and development is before looking at the positive influence it could have on a business, and the different forms it takes.

What is staff training and development?

Applicable to all industries, staff training and development is an interchangeable term for encouraging employees to improve their professional performance by facilitating opportunities to learn and gather information that relates to their role within the company. Training is the process of providing education and fresh information to an employee, whereas development is more the effect this training can have on the individual’s long-term professional growth.

Common types of staff training and development include:

  • Skill development
  • Onboarding
  • Orientation
  • Product training
  • Health and safety training
  • Quality training
  • Team building exercises

For more advanced staff training and development, many companies outsource to a recognised training provider that can offer knowledge and guidance from a trusted source. Simply Academy’s corporate solutions, for example, provide this level of training for businesses in a finance or banking setting.

Some business owners believe staff training and development to be a worthwhile endeavor that improves employee happiness and increases productivity, while others see it as an unnecessary and costly method of bettering your workforce. However, given all the benefits, there’s every reason why it could be a pivotal component, both for a company and its employees.

Types of employee training methods

Naturally, as with all forms of training and education, there are a number of different methods when it comes to employee training. These varying methods take advantage of different technologies and teaching techniques, each suited to different types of employee with distinct learning styles. This means, when a business wants to hire a third-party company to carry out employee training, they typically have a choice between different sessions, workshops and classes, each which utilise different training methods, allowing them to choose the best training methods for their particular needs. Training methods include:

  • Classroom-based training

Conducted by a qualified trainer, this type of teaching will take place in a physical venue (either on or off-site) over a certain period of time. Employees taking part will usually learn through presentations, lectures and group discussions/activities, led by the professional trainer. This method ensures many employees can be trained at one time, however, it can be costly to arrange travel, catering and a venue, as well as to hire a specialist trainer.

  • On-the-job training

This practical and interactive method of training allows employees to participate in real-life, relevant activities that relate to the job they are training for. Ideal for succession planning, on-the-job training can be implemented by simply allowing junior staff members to shadow more experienced members of staff, learning by doing common day-to-day tasks. Third-party trainers can also be hired to come into the workplace to carry out on-the-job training sessions. Although some criticise this method, saying it is time-consuming and has a propensity to throw inexperienced staff ‘in at the deep-end’, it can result in rapid practical learning when performed correctly. 

  • Online/remote training

Online training is a form of eLearning that is rapidly becoming the most recognised and utilised solution for the issue of affordable and efficient staff training. From mandatory learning modules to online webinars, training videos, eWorkshops and lectures, online workplace training programmes can provide the information employees need to learn and the tests needed to evaluate them in one, easy to access location. Online solutions of this kind can also be accessed remotely, meaning staff no longer even have to be in the office to complete training and development sessions. The variety this form of training offers enables employees to learn according to their own style and at their own pace, while it also provides employers with a way of tracking and monitoring training progress.

Why is staff training important to an organisation?

The training and development of employees within a business pose benefits both for the individual members of staff and the organisation itself. It is an all encompassing positive for your business, with managers and business owners passing on their knowledge to other members of staff and newly-trained employees not only picking up new skills and potentially showing stronger performance but also feeling appreciated, invested in and more engaged. Below we take a look at some of the major benefits associated with staff training and development.

What are the benefits of staff training and development?

Assessing the necessary training needs of each employee and delivering tailored training programmes based on your findings can result in a number of benefits for both the employee and the business itself. These benefits include: 

  •  Positive employee recruitment and retention

The process of hiring and retaining talented employees can be challenging, especially if competitors offer better opportunities for potential/existing employees. One way to both encourage positive recruitment and retain existing staff members is by providing them with clear career development opportunities. By delivering training and development programmes throughout an employee’s period of service, you, as a business, are more likely to foster a culture of loyalty, ultimately helping to attract and retain talented staff. 

  • Employee empowerment

Linked to the first benefit, visibly investing in your employees’ futures in the way of training and development opportunities also helps to keep morale high and, obviously, results in a workforce that is more highly skilled. Indeed, research published in the Academy of Management journal suggests that business managers who are able to inspire and ignite the imaginations of employees with a compelling vision – say, through the use of employee training and development –  are more effective than leaders that focus solely on profitability. 

  • Increased employee engagement

In-house development opportunities not only keep employees motivated, they also keep them more closely engaged with their work, their managers and their co-workers. This can result in an upturn in the quality of work being produced, as well as a natural way for the employer to keep evaluating employees skills and development. This ability to better assess employee performance, while not losing the trust of staff members, enables businesses to strategically plan more effectively and develop more useful and targeted development programmes to cover potential skill gaps going forward. 

  • Finding future leaders

Finding and sourcing your own leadership talent from within can be much more simple, and less costly, than looking to recruit for a managerial role externally. With this in mind, having established leadership training and development programmes in place for all employees can help a business when it comes to promoting staff from within later down the line. 

 

While it’s true that many companies may refrain from providing extensive staff training to their employees due to the money and time that may have to be invested, by acting in this way, employees can begin to feel disillusioned by the company and their opportunities to progress in the future. As discussed above, staff training can be provided in a number of ways, and if it’s likely to lead to increased performance and a stronger retention of staff, it makes sense why so many businesses may consider implementing opportunities for training and development.

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