As a former corporate trainer, I know well that during tough economic times, the budget for training is often the first cut and the last to be restored. Many organizations do not see the value in having a training department, a trainer or even the relevance in hiring an outside trainer. Without training, your organization is likely to experience the following.
High Turnover: Untrained employees lead to poor performance, broken processes, frustration and good people leaving.
Inefficiencies: Having poorly or untrained employees operating machinery leads to poor maintenance, leading to expensive repairs or replacement costs, overruns, a negative impact on your customers and even disastrous safety issues.
Culture Impact: A lack of training or poorly executed training will eventually erode culture. This happens because people are not performing quality work, respect and values are lost. This affects every facet of the organization including customer service. Soon your hard won customers will be seeking a company to work with where they are valued and respected.
Financial Set Backs: All of the above circumstances will produce a negative impact on your bottom line. No organization that can afford to allow such circumstances to develop.
The way you answer the following questions, will determine how seriously you take training.
- How much money do you designate for training annually?
- Is there a plan that identifies what training courses are critical for each employee and why?
- Does the above plan include skill training as well as training on critical aspects of the company?
- Do your employees understand gross margins as well as how the company makes and keeps money?
- What types of training programs your company currently provides
- What types of training programs should you be providing?
What Should a Good Training Program Include?
All too often, organizations fail to tell their story. This story is important. Too many CEOs gloss over the history of the work that got the company to where it is today. If you are still not convinced, please see an article from yours truly at www.moneyforlunch.com entitled Once “Upon a Dream.” Here is some content to include in your on-boarding program.
- The history of the company
- The current culture of the company
- What’s likely coming around the corner for the company in the future?
- What issues need attention
- The next best thing the company should do
Without a basis for understanding what the company does, why it does it, who it does it for and its growth strategy, any outside training the employees take part in ends up being simply about that employee getting to spend some money, take time off work and come back the next day and proceed as usual. To help drive learning from one training event throughout the organization:
- Have attendees present ideas to another department
- Have the attendees write a brief report to his/her supervisor upon return from a program with ideas on how the information gleaned can be utilized in the organization
- Post information from trainings on the company intranet
Where to Spend Your Training Budget
One of the best places to spend your training budget is getting your employees to buy into what the company does. Conduct this training internally preferably by the CEO or a long-time leader. Here is what the participants need to understand.
- How the company solves customer problems
- How the employee’s jobs contribute to the success of the organization
- What the company delivers
- Why customers buy from this company
- The organization’s value proposition
- How mistakes are handled
- How changes occur
Once your employees understand the business of the business, work with them to help the advance their areas of expertise. Create training programs tailored to the specific requirements of the position. Then everyone will take training seriously.
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