Becoming more profitable

Staff training: build your people skills and they'll build your business

Training and upgrading employee skills starts from day one, and should continue throughout the employee's time with you if you want your staff to continue to grow and develop new skills.

It may take some time to see a return on your investment in a staff training program, but the long-term gains associated with employee training make a difference. And the short-term expense of a staff training plan ensures you keep qualified and productive workers who are vital to the growth of your business. That’s an investment you can take to the bank with confidence.

Tips for effective training and staff development

Here are some tips to help you deliver more training and learning opportunities to your people:

  • Set expectations, so participants understand what will be expected of them and how training will relate to their work before formal learning begins.

  • Keep learning 'results-based' and measurable. Skill development must be driven by your business' strategic and operational objectives.

  • Make a staff training policy that focuses on rapid skill transfer and business results.

  • Follow up each exercise by identifying issues for future training with a staff training report.

  • Document the ongoing staff training benefits of every exercise.

  • Ensure the 'learner' is able to identify and see how the opportunities and applications of the new skill or information can be transferred to the workplace. 

  • Create a work environment that promotes learning opportunities and understands the staff training importance for the company and employees.

  • Ensure management from the top down 'visibly' supports, encourages and appreciates the importance of staff training and ongoing education.

  • Create a work environment that supports the use of new skills.

  • Ensure that formal learning is integrated into the workplace and that staff have the motivation, resources and support to excel.

  • Monitor the ongoing application of new skills and encourage staff to continue to use their new skills.

  • Ensure the staff training expenditure does not outweigh the sum of the benefits.

  • Adopt a blended training curriculum to make the learning experience more interesting and to cater for all types of learners' needs and preferred styles of learning, e.g. formal, unstructured, e-learning, hands-on. Think creatively, e.g. a simulation training game where players progress through increasing levels of difficulty to learn a set of skills is innovative, instructional and fun.

  • Use trained trainers, or train staff in training skills, to facilitate or deliver training. An in-house expert or specialist may be brilliant at their job but not so good at passing the information or skills on to a colleague.

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