The Importance of Training Your Employees
Many owners of small and medium-sized businesses fail to recognize the added value brought to the table by well-trained employees, even though they wouldn’t dream of hiring unqualified employees. There are also situations where technology or the methods used by a company can cause employees to become less qualified than they originally were, or where their skill sets have been superseded entirely.
Still other business owners acknowledge that additional training would increase employee value, but are reluctant to invest the resources necessary to conduct that training, either in-house or remotely. In truth, the value to the company brought about by well-trained employees is so significant that it should always be considered of prime importance, offsetting whatever costs might be involved. Here are some of the reasons why this is so.
Lower quality production
When employees are inadequately trained for the work they have to do, the inevitable result is a lower quality product or service delivered to customers. When customers receive subpar output from your employees, consider how much harm is done to the reputation of your business. If you were to attach a dollar value to that loss of reputation, it would undoubtedly exceed any cost of proper training for the individuals concerned.
Improperly trained employees are almost always far less efficient than those who have been well instructed in proper company methods and techniques. The loss of efficiency demonstrated by a large number of employees can add up to considerable cost for small and medium-sized businesses, because everything takes longer to do, and may even necessitate re-work. When it takes longer to get something done correctly or to do it a second time, all that extra time eats into your profit margin.
Most employees who have been improperly trained are acutely aware of that fact, and it can promote feelings of inadequacy on their part, and can often cause them to feel unsupported and under-valued by management. A situation like this can quickly lead to employee unrest and dissatisfaction on the job, causing a corresponding disinterest in the work, which is almost guaranteed to cost your company significant time and money.
Training might be required
There are some cases where training could be required as a part of the job, or might be seen as a means of preventing undesirable or unwanted behaviour on the job. For instance, in a manufacturing environment, working with various materials and equipment may be a requirement of the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S), and your compliance as company owner may be necessary in order for you to continue to conduct business.
Other kinds of education which are often considered ‘soft training’ skills might be important components of programs your own HR department has put in place to help avoid problems between employees. A program of employee diversity training can help your employees understand and tolerate the cultural and ethnic differences between them, so that a feeling of mutual understanding and cooperation is promoted.
Training employees about sexual harassment might seem like an unnecessary cost, or at least one that has little impact on company production, but employees who are aware of the potential issues in this area will be better equipped to recognize pitfalls and avoid them. As an employer, you should do everything possible to avoid exposing your company to litigation, one type of which can be brought against you for failure to create a working environment safe for everyone.
Many types, many benefits
As can be seen from the above, there are many different types of training that a small or medium-sized business might provide to its employees – and all of them are well worth whatever the cost might be, either in monetary terms, or in the intangible benefits they bring to your company.