Training is a familiar concept and one that should embraced by everyone. However, the value of training is often underestimated. This article outlines some of the real benefits of training with the hope of inspiring and encouraging more people to actively engage with training.
Why is training important?
Good quality training is integral to business success. The commercial world is constantly evolving and businesses need to keep up to date with new developments to survive, particularly in the current economic climate. Traditionally, training is often associated with learning systems and processes (e.g. induction training) or how to implement a new piece of technology (e.g. instructions for how to use equipment). However, training should extend much further, not only boosting knowledge and skills, but also teaching people how to apply their knowledge and skills effectively in the workplace.
Many businesses already recognise that investing in training has a positive impact on improving staff knowledge and skills. However, some are less aware that good quality training has much wider reaching benefits than teaching core skills or ensuring compliance with mandatory training requirements. Providing good quality training for employees demonstrates that staff are valued by the business and is instrumental in boosting staff morale as well as the bottom line. It is unsurprising therefore that research by Cranfield University found training improves staff retention rates (thus reducing recruitment spend and expertise loss) and staff motivation. The added advantage of investing in training for existing company employees is that they will already be familiar with the company culture, the company mission and vision, and company goals. They will therefore be more likely to identify how what they learn in training can be applied in the workplace.
There are, of course, a wide range of benefits for the individual attending a training course, including gaining a new skill or qualification, refreshing knowledge, and keeping in touch with new developments in the field. However, the benefits also extend to include improved self esteem, motivation, and confidence. Perpetuity Training strongly believes in lifelong learning and argues that everyone (ourselves included!) should strive to improve their knowledge and skills. Learning through experience is beneficial; however, there is also an obvious place for training in supporting the achievement of lifelong learning goals.
Common barriers to training
Unfortunately, many people have had negative training experiences, typically where training has been poorly planned (e.g. with inappropriate or inadequate learning objectives) and/or delivered by an inexperienced, unqualified, and/or unprofessional trainer. This can which lead to feelings of resistance (“I don’t really want to go on this course but my manager is making me”), ambivalence (“It’s just routine training, it doesn’t really matter”), or just seeing training as an excuse to be out of the office (“Excellent. A training course, I’ll get to go home early every day this week”). These negative attitudes to training clearly limit its potential.
How do we break down barriers to training?
Everyone should be seeking to continually improve their knowledge and skills, and so it is important to tackle anything that acts as a barrier to training. From a company perspective it is important to develop a training programme that is clearly linked to the training needs of staff, and in line with the company’s aims and objectives. This will help to ensure staff will acquire skills and knowledge that are relevant to the workplace. Clearly communicating the benefits and goals of training are key to ensuring staff buy-in to the training and arrive at training courses with enthusiasm and an open mind.
It is important to implement a well planned training programme and ensure this is delivered by an experienced trainer. This will help to ensure that goals are met. Furthermore, a good trainer will recognise under confidence or nervousness in learners and adapt the pace and style of delivery accordingly, thereby ensuring all learners have a positive learning experience.
Many people can access training through an employer Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme. CPD schemes are designed to ensure employees have access to adequate training to maintain, improve, and broaden their knowledge and skills, and develop the personal qualities required in their professional lives. A well implemented CPD scheme will work with employees to identify training needs and provide sufficient opportunities to attend relevant training programmes. Similarly, some businesses use Personal Development Plans (PDP) to help staff identify goals and the steps they need to take to reach these goals, and training can play a major role in supporting staff to achieve their PDP goals. However, engaging in a CPD scheme or having a formal PDP are not the only ways to access good quality training.
Individuals can seek training for themselves based on their personal goals and targets. There is a multitude of training programmes, covering a range of diverse topics, available through colleges, universities, and training companies. In fact, there are now more options than ever to learn, particularly with the advent of the internet providing a range of distance learning options. Furthermore, part time courses are now more widely available allowing individuals to fit learning in around their existing commitments.
Everyone should seek to be a lifelong learner and set themselves goals to improve their skills and knowledge, and to learn how to apply these in a real world setting. Training is integral to ongoing personal and professional development, and hopefully this article has whetted a few appetites for training.
Amy Burrell, Training Consultant
An error was detected×