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Who Needs Training?

Who needs training? Everyone. That's because, over time, all organizations change—whether it's new technology, new production processes or new methodology. And employees must change along with the company and acquire the skills needed to keep up with the organization.

Training can also be a potent form of motivation. By training your people, you're showing your employees you value them, and that you want to invest in their future within your organization.

While sometimes the Return on Investment (ROI) of training can be hard to calculate, studies have shown that there are a number of benefits to training your employees.

A recent AMA survey reported a direct correlation between increased company training budgets and increased profits.

Another study reported by the New York Times involving 3000 businesses with 20 or more employees showed that a 10% increase in employees' average education yielded an 8.6% increase in output. In comparison, a 10% increase in capital investment (such as tools, buildings and machinery) produced only a 3.4% increase in productivity.

Studies have also found there are both "hard data" benefits (quantitatively measured results) and "soft data" benefits (intangible results) to corporate training.

Hard data benefits include:

  • Lower absenteeism and tardiness rates
  • Lower turnover
  • Number of sales or dollar value of sales per customer

Soft data benefits include:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Improved job satisfaction
  • Improved teamwork
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased communication

So what now? How can you implement a training program in your organization? The key is information. What skills or behaviors need to be strengthened? Talk to your managers. Get their perspective. Are the needs skill based, such as training on specific computer software? Or are their needs behavior based? Do you need to develop teams or quality initiatives? You'll discover that training can take many forms depending on individual employee needs.

Start small when it comes to training. Find a common theme and create a training program around it. Make the training memorable by using items supporting the theme, such as binders, pens, paper and mugs. After it's over, make sure to allow your participants to evaluate any training program to assess what worked and what didn't. Acknowledge participation with certificates of completion, and make sure you use a variety of visual aids to weave the training into your corporate culture.

Within a few months of instituting training programs in your organization, you'll quickly find that training becomes a powerful tool for you and your staff.