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Why spending time to train employees really pays off

3ca232cThose who think training is expensive and a waste of time and money are sadly mistaken. An organization’s most valuable asset is its’ employees. Employees are an organizations’ means to achieving its goals. They are also the single largest operating expense, accounting for around 70% of all operating expenses. At that rate, wouldn’t you want to know employees were performing to their full potential?

What is training?

Training is the development of any knowledge, skill, or desired behaviour in an individual or a group. Training can range anywhere from specific task instruction to broad skills that will aid in future career development. It is a way for an organization to invest in its human capital and reap the benefits of their contribution towards the success of the business.

Benefits of training:

  • Keeping up with training means employers gain a competitive advantage by having qualified employees working efficiently and effectively
  • Cross training employees in multiple areas reduces the amount of personnel required to carry out tasks; in turn reducing costs
  • Training could lead to a greater sense of employee autonomy if it leads to more control over the decision making process on the job for the employee
  • Increasing the amount or breadth of tasks an employee is responsible for may increase the tasks’ significance, raise employee motivation and commitment
  • Not only does training reduce employee boredom, it also shows management’s interest in each employee’s performance and potential

Types of training:

  • Lectures: Trainees are educated in an organized predetermined presentation of information by a trainer, usually in a classroom set up.
  • On the job training: An experienced employee works with a trainee to allow them hands-on training, observation and feedback throughout the training process.
  • Computer based training: Trainees can complete in-depth exercises (reading material, video watching, quizzes etc.) during time that works best for them.
  • Role playing: This is where trainees assume the attitudes and views of characters in hypothetical situations to understand what behaviour is required/desired of them.
  • Case studies: Trainees read or watch an example problem situation of what they could experience on the job and are asked to come up with a solution. The most important aspect of this is the trainer giving feedback on proposed solutions.

What makes for ‘good’ training?

  • Allow employees to ask questions to clear up any discrepancies or areas of confusion
  • Trainers should provide specific and timely feedback to learning employees
  • To ensure transfer of newly learned training material back to the job, employers should allow time for sufficient practice of such material
  • Employers should praise employees for exhibiting newly learned knowledge, skills and behaviours to reinforce the importance of them

Becka Tosswill
HR Consultant
Beyond Rewards Inc.

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In addition to our regular guest bloggers, First Reference Talks blog published by First Reference, provides occasional guest post opportunities from various subject matter experts on the topics of payroll, employment and labour law, payroll, HR analytics, corporate immigration, accessibility related issues in Canada. If you are a subject matter expert and would like to become an occasional blogger, please contact Yosie Saint-Cyr at editor@firstreference.com. If you liked this post, subscribe to First Reference Talks blog to get regular updates.

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