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The Importance Of Employee Training For Workplace Development (Part 2)

Why do we need to train employees?

One usually thinks of the usual sequence of orientation, probation / on the job training and the yearly job development plan. The usual routine when you get a new job. The employee works for a time and then leaves, unaware of the value that both parties should bring to the table. That’s what happens to most people when their employer does not see the need for training or development and the employee is not taught about their higher responsibilities. It goes on and on without those aims.

This is not what we are referring to.

A special mention about “on the job training”. What does this mean? Some employers would say that as you work day by day in an office setting, your colleagues will cue you in and you will learn by trial and error. This means that you will ask your colleagues for guidance every time you have a problem. In other words, you will trouble your busy workmates hoping that they have the time to teach you and forgive your errors. Yet remembering “trial and error”,. Many employers don’t like the “error” part. Although this is the normal practice, it’s quite inconvenient for the long run especially for specialised skills.

We are referring to specific employee training programs that potentially furnish employees with key skills to execute their jobs to a higher standard. An organised and planned process of enhancing employee competency and the discovery new skills as the organisation evolves into new areas. These are targeted and measurable goals. As such, employee preparedness is company preparedness.

True “on the job training” isn’t really feasible in an office setting but more to a production setting where special machines are involved such as large printers or medical diagnostic instruments. These have a dedicated team leader whose main function is to take you by the hand to operate such machines. That’s a significant difference.

The benefits of having the right employee training and development is more necessary now than ever as we are now at a point where technological changes are rapid. Both the elder and the younger workforce need consistent training and up-skilling in areas such as:

1. Marketing technology

2. Visual communication with new software or apps and

3. New machines and technology in industry

1. Marketing Technology

New marketing and advertising techniques that involve visual communication in “above the line” and “below the line” marketing. With the advent of easy to use apps in mobile devices, regular employees have been getting closer to formulating their own marketing strategies without the need to consult advertising or design agencies.

2. Visual communication with new software or apps

Many companies now hire their own in-house designers to manage their visual needs. New apps such as Figma, and Zoom are the norm now for those working online. Perhaps one could understand the difficulties faced and time wasted when trying to figure out what is going wrong with their Zoom call.

3. New machines and technology in industry

Specialised training is absolutely necessary for employees in the special services industry such as the pharmaceutical and medical industries, food production, automotive and other manufacturing industries. These use specialised machines therefore, some aspects can’t be learnt by “trial and error” as we mentioned earlier. The manufacturer of those machines need to provide face-to-face training to employees so that the full capabilities of those machines could be harnessed. Most of these machines are software controlled so as new software updates are done every year or so, the employees need to be duly updated.

Just look at your phone’s App Store. Are we even able to keep up with the many new apps out there that influence the way we work? As the future dawns, it seems inescapable that there’s so much to learn. That the businesses of the future will depend more on these new apps and new machines to survive and diversify. As such, each business will find itself focused on learning and improving their staff skill-set by planning their training, allowing their business to improve their workflow and set achievable goals.

A Necessary Investment

Learning is a necessary investment for life. So then, learning is a necessary investment for business. Each organisation, though perhaps in a similar industry, has different goals, targets and expectations. You can create your own custom training and development strategy by analysing your business requirements and your employees needs every quarter. The quarterly training will serve to enforce and as a reminder of the company’s goals and employee deliverables. This will help to better gauge the ROI and see what works and what does not. Just consider the chart below.

By having the above, one can set the correct expectations and predict the outcomes.

This will also help to hire or promote the right people as well as no to promote those who are resisting the learning process. To make this process smoother, employees can be briefed regularly for better participation, allowing employers to establish the correct expectations and let the employees know that new skills will certainly be taught as an investment unto them.

We think that employee training and upgrading is not an option any longer, but a necessity.

According to a report by the Gartner group, an eminent career research group, only 20% of employees have the skills needed for both their current role and their future career. You can read their report here.

One of the key concerns is digital transformation and its impact when 70% of employees have yet to master the needed skills while 80% do not have those skills at the moment. They concluded that HR managers can be the driving force of innovation as businesses believe that they might be no longer competitive if they do not digitalise significantly. Sari Wilde, Vice President of Garner HR practice had this to say,

“In order to remain competitive in an increasingly digital world, companies must transform the skills of their workforce, both on a macro level by determining the skills their market and clients are calling for, and on a micro level, by showing employees the personal benefit to upskilling and offering experiences for them to do so,”

If these insights are resonating with you and you’d like to explore more areas of learning on these topics, contact our Xremo career advisors for a chat.