How To Get More From Your Employee Through Training

Maximising Employee Return on Investment (ROI) Through Continuous Training and Development Programmes

Business sustainability largely depends on how we respond to changes that have a direct impact on bottom line performance as well as how we manage our resources through these changes. 

Hence, to a large degree, where your business finds itself tomorrow will depend on how much you are prepared to invest today in staff training and development.  Training and development include any learning opportunity that helps employees improve their skills and overall capacity to deliver quality service. It may or may not be related to their core area of work in the organization, but must improve their capacity to reason, relate, or lead as the case may be.

Your employees are the lifeblood of your business and sustaining their potential to perform means better bottom line results.  20th Century genius Albert Einstein offers some healthy advice in this regard that can be summed up as: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Beyond the obvious reasons, what are the other implications for your business when you make a dedicated investment in maximising employee potentials through training and development?  In this article we examine what we consider to be the reasons why it makes perfect sense to invest in employee training and development programmes.

  1. Training enhances staff performance levels

When your employees undergo training to improve their knowledge and enhance their skills it goes without saying that they will naturally be able to perform better.  This applies to each and every department and covers employees at all levels within the business.  Through training, your employees will automatically acquire a better understanding of your business, the industry at large as well as the function and purpose of the particular jobs that they do.

2.    Cross-training opportunities mean a better understanding of the business

If your business is structured in such a way that you have different departments, creating an environment that embraces collaboration among employees inspires members from different teams to learn from each other.  For instance, when one team is involved in a training session, even if it is a specific initiative, invite others from different teams or areas to also attend.  This will give others the opportunity to learn more about aspects of the business that they previously knew nothing about. 

  • Training minimises staff turnover

While a certain degree of staff turnover is normal for any business and new people who join an organization bring along with them fresh ideas and different perspectives, a high staff turnover rate can be disruptive and costly.  Spending the money on staff training and development as opposed to recruiting new staff is far more cost effective.  Not to mention that when employees realise that you are prepared to invest in their training and development needs they are more likely to feel valued and this means that they are less likely to seek employment elsewhere.

  • Employees who are trained feel more engaged with the business

Benjamin Franklin was quoted to have said: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”  The same applies to actively engaging with your employees.   It goes without saying that your employees will greatly appreciate any opportunity you give them to learn and grow.  Continuous learning keeps things from becoming staid and boring by helping to stimulate a flow of fresh ideas which in turn ensures that staff are sufficiently motivated.

  • Training helps employees stay abreast of new developments that invariably translate into business growth

Training ensures that employees stay abreast of any new developments within the industry, which, in turn translates into opportunities for business growth.  Staff who are informed of new developments should inform others within the business and keep everyone on the same page.  This will help to sustain a competitive advantage and ultimately improve customer service levels. 

  • Training improves your business bottom line

Engaging with employees through dedicated training programmes helps to improve your business bottom line in that by upskilling your employees, whether it is with a view to enhancing customer service levels or elevating technical knowledge, through training, your employees will naturally become better at their jobs which in turn translates into better bottom line performance.

  • Training enhances the reputation of your business

The perception around a company who cares enough about their employees to invest in staff training and development enhances the reputation of the company.  Staff and customers alike will see the company as one that is good to work for.  This, in turn, not only positively affects the hiring process but also augments sales and boosts the bottom line.
Train Your Team

  • Training upskills employees for promotion

Existing employees are familiar with the day to day running of the business and when it comes to considering promotions and placing individuals into key roles and positions of greater responsibility and influence it is natural to look within the company before hiring from the outside.  Not only does training ensure that employees are more capable, but also helps to identify appropriate talent within the organization.   Managers are then able to determine who should be considered for promotion and gain a better grasp of latent strengths and weaknesses. 

  • Training helps with succession planning

Dedicated staff training and development programmes should be a continuous process.  In terms of succession planning it can help to enhance employee skill levels when considering what types of leaders a company may need in the future, what industry changes and developments are expected to take place that can impact the business or what customers may need in the future.

Helen Fenton, Senior Analyst:  Business Optimization Training Institute (BOTi) www.boti.co.za

Time Management

“A stitch in time saves nine” – it’s about time we came to grips with the importance of time management in the workplace

Time Zones

Ever heard of the old proverb “A stitch in time saves nine”?  If not, it’s about time that you did.  The origins of this proverb can be attributed to one Dr Thomas Fuller and first emerged in 1723.  This proverb is often used to justify the fact that it is far better to deal with a problem or issue now than to tackle it later, when the situation at hand is either likely to get worse or take longer to solve.  Hence, putting something off today in favour of doing it tomorrow creates more hassles in the long run.  Almost three hundred years on, the wisdom of this proverb still holds true, since in this present day and age time as a commodity is more valuable than ever.

In this article we examine time management in the workplace and its function as a critical success factor and key benefits involved in learning how to maximize this ever-fleeting resource.  Ultimately, making the effort to improve one’s time management capabilities means that more can be achieved in a shorter space of time and if one can master the art of time management to a significant extent a healthier existence awaits, not only in the workplace but in all areas of life. 

Time is a limited resource

To properly understand the value of time, ask a student who has failed an exam by one mark due to not finishing the last question on the exam paper what a difference an extra five minutes might have made.  Or ask anyone who has lost a business opportunity to a competitor who got there first because they were caught in traffic on the way to an important meeting how much better they think they would have fared if they had built traffic time into their overall travelling time and managed to get to the meeting on time. 

No matter which way you look at it, there are 24 hours in a day and that is that.   It seems that certain individuals only manage to do half the amount of work in the same amount of time as certain others, yet others still seem to manage twice as much.  As a result, those individuals are the ones that have a better chance at succeeding in keeping up with the demands of today’s workplace.  Here, time is literally of the essence. 

Due to the heavy demands on our time that we face almost daily it would be ludicrous to think of anything else that can be done other than finding ways and means to free up time or save time.  Often, one wishes one could even turn back the clock to conquer the concept of fleeting time.  But, without a time travelling machine that can take us back into the past each time we miss something or fail to accomplish our goals, which, although the idea might be on the cards in the near future according to many wishful thinkers and sci fi enthusiasts, right now there is no available ‘warp technology’ that can alter the course of time as we know it and our best chances lie in realistically finding ways to better manage our time.

More haste less speed”

The English idiom “more haste less speed” applies when one learns to properly manage one’s time by focusing on the task at hand instead of losing focus and getting into a frenzy.  With better focus comes greater efficiency. 

Good time management equates to better decision making

When one feels pressed for time, this often leads to poor decision making.  However, gaining a good grasp of time management techniques will enable one to spend more time analyzing appropriate options as opposed to rushing through the process.

Effective time management skills are key to a successful career

Not only do good time management skills mean that one has better control over one’s life in general, such will mean better career opportunities for those who are seen to be in control. 

Managing one’s time means more time to learn and grow

As one learns to become more practiced at developing one’s time management skills one will find that one also has more time to devote to education and training initiatives which in turn helps one more rapidly to grow in one’s chosen career. 

Time management helps with stress management

If one is unable to effectively manage one’s time this can result in unnecessary amounts of stress which can cause us to feel overwhelmed and out of control.  This in turn means that any additional responsibilities cannot effectively be managed which leads to even more stress. However, the ability to effectively manage one’s time can significantly reduce pressure around emergencies and surprise deadlines.

Take time out to make time out

Part of managing one’s time to one’s best advantage means being disciplined enough to build into one’s schedule a dedicated time each day to relax and recharge.  Even if this means taking a short walk or even 10 minutes to unwind and meditate without focusing on problems and the time factor itself, the benefits can be tremendous. 

A matter of good discipline

Acquiring the ability to better manage one’s time also shows a significant measure of self-discipline which in turn enables us to achieve our goals with greater ease and efficiency.

A matter of prioritising

Prioritizing tasks can often be of the utmost importance especially in jobs that require strict adherence to tight deadlines.  Time management skills enable one to effectively prioritize important and urgent tasks whilst at the same time not losing sight of the bigger picture.

Goal setting

Good time management skills will enable one to set and manage short as well as long term goals and will enable room to manoeuvre should tasks need to be reprioritised at any given point.

Helen Fenton, Senior Analyst:  Business Optimization Training Institute (BOTi) www.boti.co.za

Business Optimization Training Institute (BOTI) is a Johannesburg based, Level 1 BBBEE business.  As a Services and MICT SETA accredited company, we have trained thousands of individuals from over 650 companies and our extensive course offering consists of Short Courses, Soft Skills Training and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Learnership Programs.  In addition, we offer bespoke training programs designed to cater to specific business needs.  Our training courses are focused on knowledge and skills transfer and we pride ourselves in being able to provide training anytime, anywhere across South Africa.