Employee training is key to performance and business growth

There are a number of reasons why employers provide training for employees. Learning and professional development sessions have mutual benefit for organisations and their workers - they help develop the skills employees need to do their jobs effectively.

Employers reap the benefits of a more capable workforce, consisting of individuals who are capable of performing a wider range of tasks. And employees get to add to their skill sets, and feel as if they are progressing with their careers. By providing employee training, businesses can help  employees gain additional knowledge, which can help them in their pursuit of a new role.

Employers look to up-skill their workforce

Employers need to invest in employee training schemes, in terms of the man-hours required to plan and run sessions, the hours employees take away from their normal duties to participate in them, and any other resources that may be required. In some instances, organisations may bring in training consultants from outside the organisation to conduct sessions, and this adds to the overall level of expenditure of training their staff.

But effective training can quickly deliver a return on investment. With workers able to operate more efficiently and effectively - boosting productivity - and take on new roles and responsibilities, the workforce can do more for less. The more skilled an individual is, the greater the potential value they can add to an organisation.

Training can also help employers retain talented staff for longer. If individuals feel they are being given every opportunity to grow and develop, and learn their trade, they may be willing to stay for longer. This ensures the employer achieves a greater return on investment on each individual hire.

Employees seek new skills

Employees recognise that their best chance of moving up the jobs ladder is to improve their skillset. This includes acquiring vocational and industry-specific qualifications, learning about new techniques and technologies, and topping up their knowledge on key areas.

When organisations look to hire new staff, they want individuals who are up-to-date in their field, and who have demonstrated a clear commitment to learning and development. This shows they are serious about their work and eager to progress with their career.

Ambitious professionals want to work in organisations that recognise the importance of skills development, and invest in suitable training for their employers. Businesses need to have dedicated training budgets, with funds set aside for development schemes, otherwise businesses risk losing their employees. Talented professionals may actively seek out jobs at organisations, which will help them develop their careers - giving organisations an opportunity to position themselves ahead of their rivals.

Developing leadership skills

Employee training has an important role to play in ensuring organisations have a constant supply of talent ready and able to step up to senior roles. Employers need to think about the future of their organisation, and the people who will be charged with running things in the years to come.

Leadership training has an important role to play in identifying suitable candidates - those who have the potential to work in executive roles and make the key decisions. Sessions could potentially cover areas such as critical thinking, listening, motivation, discipline, delegation and collaboration.

Training sessions designed to identify and develop these skills can potentially give employees the confidence to seek a promotion and take on more responsibility within the organisation.

Employee training as a growth-enabler

Andy Lancaster, head of learning and development at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, has suggested that employee training is high on the agenda for many business leaders in the current climate. He said that, as the economy shows signs of recovery, organisations need to capitalise on the opportunity for growth.

This means making the most of available people resources, and ensuring everyone is pulling in the same direction. Equipping employees with the skills and resources they need to work with maximum efficiency and effectiveness has the potential to make a real difference.

"It’s important that we recognise the need to stimulate productivity, and the need to engage and develop our workforce," Mr Lancaster stated. He added that this is vital as employers look to create organisations that are successful today and fit for the future.