April 3, 2018

The circle of life – create lasting value with corporate training

Article

Corporate training might seem like a costly and time-consuming affair.

However, take a minute and imagine that you hired a new employee who’s just the right fit when it comes to qualifications, personality, and experience. Wouldn’t it be nice to ensure that this person remains part of your team and continues to add value to the company for a long time? Many companies underestimate the value of corporate training, which can have a great effect on the ability to not only attract new talent but retain knowledge within your company. As Henry Ford said: “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay”. With these words in mind, let’s take a look at the circle of life in the modern digital workplace.

First impressions that last

Try seeing the onboarding process as the way you’re greeted when visiting someone’s home. Would you rather get the full tour of the house or simply be left standing at the door? A lot of companies spend a considerable amount of money on recruiting the right person, but an engaging onboarding program can really be the key to ensuring that this person is a long-term investment that pays off.

A vital part of the onboarding process is letting your organization know that someone new is joining the company. When, why and on what team are all important factors to communicate to ensure that people are prepared to welcome new resources. If one-on-one training needs to take place your existing staff members can prepare in advance to make the transition easier. This reaches beyond the skills needed to get the job done and includes the transfer of knowledge with regards to company culture and unique processes.

Development

Employee training and development can involve either learning a specific skill related to the job role, or can have a broader focus on growth and future performance of the employee. Both approaches result in a win-win for the individual and for the company as a whole. Corporate training has shown to improve satisfaction and morale: being part of a supportive workplace environment where personal development is a priority makes employees feel valued and respected. This is especially important if you want to reduce employee turnover. Research shows that 40% of employees not receiving adequate training will quit their job within a year to find better opportunities for growth. Convey to your staff how important they are and that you want them to grow together with the company by providing them with learning and development that goes beyond initial onboarding training.

Not only will you immediately see happier employees, but you can expect to find an impact on the bottom line. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) found that companies that offer comprehensive training enjoy a 24% higher profit margin than those who spend less on training. That only makes sense, right? Good quality training equals good quality employees equals good quality output.

Letting them go

The reality is that sometimes, no matter how great your company might be, your best employee is going to quit. Don’t worry, take a breath. It happens. Just be prepared. It might not happen today, tomorrow, or anytime soon, but by being proactive you can ensure that you’re ready when the time comes. When hiring ambitious and talented people it’s very possible that they at some point outgrow the role you’ve given them. To avoid the panic over loss of vital processes, industry know-how or a bullet-proof sales technique tied to one person, set up a system and a culture where knowledge is shared. Even if you have perfect employees, no one should be indispensable and to avoid this it is vital to document knowledge.

We all have that go-to colleague that we can turn to when we have IT troubles, need help with Skype or use for their master PowerPoint skills. However, instead of letting them fix things for you every time, encourage them to share their knowledge in a learning platform where everyone can benefit. As a leadership team, create a center for learning where employees across all departments can share their expertise and encourage a culture of “we rise by lifting others” when it comes to learning. Upload a list of FAQS in your learning platform that can easily be accessed by everyone. Document and store key processes related to planning and scheduling events. In this manner you can retain valuable information even if the author exits the company, preparing you not only for churn, but also for growth.

Benjamin Franklin once said: “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest”. This is just as relevant when looking at corporate training in the modern digital workplace. For your organization to be attractive to a potential new-hire, training needs to be considered as much more than a nice-to-have, but a need-to-have and should be a long-term investment that reinforces your growth strategy.