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

The Hard Facts Around Empowering Today’s Youth; through soft skills training

Embracing the pace of change

Upon leaving school, college or university, today’s youth are entering a job market that is shifting and changing as fast as technology shifts and changes and as we are all too aware, the pace of change is happening at a faster rate than ever before. 

Today’s job market demands a lot more from the youth who are entering the workforce for the first time and no longer does it suffice for young adults to possess only a technical qualification when entering the workplace.  Nowadays, employers are looking for a different type of commitment from the individual, over and above technical competencies.  The new world of work requires that to be successful young people need to develop another type of skill set altogether to aid them along.  This skill set is commonly referred to as soft skills.  Providing the youth with soft skills training goes a long way towards bridging the gap between completing school, college or university and coping with the demands of the modern world of work.

Shifting trends – women in the workplace

Over and above the idea that one needs the intangible set of skills known as soft skills to succeed in the modern workplace, there are other factors involved that have led to the emergence of shifting trends of major significance.  For example, we can say that the time frame from about the past 50 years onward has seen more women entering the workforce in technical positions as well as positions of power.  Hence, the job market is not only affected by shifting technologies but also by cultural shifts.  Even in the Western world, as recent as only 40 years ago, women were still being typecast into job roles such as nurses, secretaries, hairdressers and teachers.  It was unheard of in the latter part of the 20th Century for a woman to be the head honcho of a major corporation.  In fact, in the 1950s and 1960s most women were far from being actively involved in the workforce in favour of their male counterparts.  It was quite normal in those days for a girl to leave school with a senior certificate, and while having obtained a university pass, not ever make it to university because ‘other expectations’ were held of her such as getting married, having children and becoming a home maker while her husband went out to work. 

Shifting trends – the ‘house husband’

The changing trends of the workplace have seen the roles of women changing in that there are now more women who head up multi-national corporations while their husbands are at home during the day looking after the children.  More men are taking on the role of ‘house husband’.  In the 1950s and 1960s and even as recently as the 1970s, it would have been completely unheard of for a woman to be the main breadwinner of the household while her husband tackled the tasks of house cleaning, cooking and looking after the children.  This is mainly due to historical cultural influences the world over leaning towards a more patriarchal society.  Nowadays, there is an emerging trend that sees more men in domestic roles than ever before. 

Soft skills training bridges the gap between school, college or university and the workplace

Global trends reveal that the use of technology is rapidly changing the nature of work on a global scale.  This means that now more than ever when young people leave school, college or university to enter the job market there is a dire need to provide them with the soft skills required to prepare them to enter the workplace.  Soft skills are the intangible attitudes, behaviours, personality traits and individual qualities that empower individuals to achieve their goals and objectives in working effectively with others. 

In the current job climate awareness around the need for soft skills training is growing rapidly.  Employers are beginning to recognise the value of soft skills in enhancing productivity and providing young people with a broader scope of competencies.  Developing soft skills in young people should be carried out in tandem with their technical skills development, hence, the two are not mutually exclusive as both skill sets serve to move individuals and business forward.

What employers are demanding from the youth in the current job climate is that the youth demonstrate that they are flexible, proactive, creative and are willing to collaborate. 

What are soft skills?

Soft skills can be defined as the set of skills, behaviours, attitudes, personal attributes and type of mindset that can be used by individuals to succeed in everyday situations both in business and in one’s personal life. 

In-depth analysis has found that soft skills development among the youth should be geared towards the following skill sets:

While this list is by no means exhaustive and while there are numerous other skills that fall under the soft skills umbrella, there is evidence to support the fact that developing these particular skills will lead to more positive employment outcomes.  Acquiring the right soft skills also goes a long way towards helping young adults to healthily mature and more effectively take on roles with greater responsibility as they grow in their chosen careers.

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

Reference source:

  1. What Works in Soft Skills Development for Youth Employment? A Donors’ Perspective

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.