Why training is important for your business

Published: 9th November 2021

Work is constantly evolving. Technology has allowed businesses to reach an unprecedented number of consumers across many different channels and regions. New methodologies for handling every facet of the business more effectively, from supply chain management to customer service, surface regularly.

However, there’s one area where organisations lag behind: training. Even CEOs fail to recognise the impact of learning programmes. Over the years, professionals have been getting trained less, while role requirements continue to rise. A sobering 70 per cent feel ill-equipped for the job at hand.

It’s an unsustainable position–one that’s bound to collapse. But this gap also reveals an opportunity for businesses to leapfrog over competitors by utilising a strong training programme.

Training For Your Business: An Overview

There are multiple types of training required at work. Each one fulfils a different purpose, but is no less important than the others in securing long-term success and learner satisfaction.

Types of Training

  • Onboarding

Most types of training are concerned with imparting skills learners need to do their jobs. Not onboarding. Onboarding training gives your new learners the tools they need to integrate within the culture of your company and ease into their role or position in your external sales network. 

  • Technical Skills Training

Technical training, as the name suggests, involves teaching learners how to use or install job-specific tools, software, and equipment. This type of training can be intensive, especially in fields where analytics or heavy machinery is involved.

  • Soft Skills Training

Job performance is determined by more than just how technically skilled you are. The ability to communicate effectively, to lead a team, to listen to your peers–these interpersonal, intangible skills are responsible for 90 per cent of the reason why people are successful at work. While emotional IQ varies from person to person, these abilities can be improved through training.

  • Product Training

Product training teaches learners the ins and outs of a product or service. Any branch of a business can benefit from this extensive knowledge. Customer support agents can resolve queries and reduce escalation. Salespeople can better illustrate and explain how a product meets a customer’s needs.

  • Safety Training

Safety is paramount in any workplace, whether you’re working in a manufacturing plant or in a high rise office building in Canary Wharf. However, more than 1.5 million people still suffer from work-related injuries, underlining the need for constant and regular safety training.

Why Are Strong Training Programmes Important?

  • Improves Performance

Businesses are eager to invest on bleeding edge technologies for sales, marketing, and security. Yet some gloss over the most important part of the equation: training programmes to teach learners how to use these tools to improve sales and connect to your customers.

And how well they perform is contingent on the training they receive. Returns from investment in training ripple through the entire organisation, from your internal sales department to your external channel partners.

  • Increases Retention Rates and Job Satisfaction

Two of three employees desision to stayv2Gone are the days when a hefty sum was enough to secure loyalty. Learners are looking for companies who care for their skills development on top of competitive pay. In fact, two out of three say training affects their decision to stay with a company. External partners are looking for businesses who are willing to help them improve their operations.

Unfortunately, a majority of businesses seem to still be tone-deaf. Around 12 per cent of HR managers report insufficient training as the number one reason employees leave. 

For partner training, many distributors aren’t given access to training materials, which can only make partners feel frustrated and excluded over time. Sufficient training helps secure long-term commitments, cutting down the cost it’ll take to acquire new employees and partners.

  • Reduces Risk

Resolution timeRisk at work manifests in many forms. Hazards can be as clear as the dangers of working with heavy machinery, or as deceptively innocuous as file sharing practices that leave you vulnerable to devastating breaches.

Comprehensive training programmes allow businesses to circumvent these risks and improve safety, for customers and their learners. Over 60 per cent of businesses believe that training cuts the time it takes to resolve regulatory issues and corresponding fines. 

The integrity of your brand’s image also relies on how well you train external partners. These businesses are extensions of your brand, and strong training programmes ensure the quality of your service remains consistent no matter where customers find your product.

  • Uncovers Opportunities for Growth

Some training designers and instructors can get overly fixated on the shortcomings of learners, and how to get them up to speed. Yet sometimes, it’s simply eliminating these weaknesses that can improve performance. 

Everyone has their strengths. Encouraging employees to lean into these with a strengths-based programme, instead of focusing on skills they don’t feel competent in, makes for happier and more competent employees.

  • Happier Customers, More Profit

On the job trainingToday’s customers place a premium on experience. One sour encounter can be enough to turn them away from you entirely. Conversely, good service creates brand champions out of customers, generating more business from recommendations and reviews.

Giving learners the knowledge they need to do the work–and to do it well–will have a direct impact on your bottom line. To the tune of around 26 per cent higher revenue per employee, in fact.

  • Future Proofs Employees for New Roles and Responsibilities

72pecent competitive edgeWhen the average individual works well into their 50s, five years hardly seems like a long time. However, we’re in a period of rapid change, fuelled by advancements in computing and software. 

Against this frenetic backdrop of evolving job roles and requirements, many skills become obsolete after five years. Strong training programmes give your learners the agility they need to stay competent. Around 72 per cent of organisations say keeping their eLearning platforms updated helped keep their competitive edge sharp.

What Makes An Effective Training Programme?

  • Measurable Progress and Results

Designing effective training programmes is a science. Data will tell you what’s working, and what needs to be tweaked, and which learners need supplementary support in certain areas. 

These are basic yet crucial insights that businesses shouldn’t have to dig deep to find. Fortunately, most modern eLearning platforms are built with reporting capabilities that allow organisations to get a granular view of the efficacy of training programmes.

  • Engaging Materials

Work training topics can be boring. Your average learner’s idea of a productive and satisfying afternoon probably isn’t reading through sheaves of handouts on compliance.

And they would be right. But while there’s little anyone can do to change the subject matter, there’s no reason how it’s taught has to be boring. Technology has given us many engaging ways to present even the driest of topics. Some eLearning platforms let you even code games and interactive videos into the material.

  • Open Communication and Feedback Channels

For feedback to be useful, it has to be specific, immediate, and honest. Instant feedback from trainers allows learners to course correct earlier. And many learners only feel comfortable being direct and honest through anonymity. 

eLearning platforms give organisations a space for both expedient feedback and direct critiques. Most can be designed to provide scores after every module–some, even after each question. Many also allow learners to leave anonymous comments, which they can’t do if organisations solicit feedback through other channels such as email or face-to-face conversations.

  • Adaptive to Learners’ Skill Levels and Schedules

Unlike students in university, most learners at work are bound by different schedules, deadlines, and goals. There’s also a clearer disparity between skill levels, even within the same team.

Retention ratesThat’s why the best training programmes arm learners with what they need to mitigate these differences: control. And this flexibility is something only eLearning platforms can provide completely. Finishing courses at their own pace and having the ability to access the material any time learners want increases retention rates by 25 to 60 per cent.

Many organisations fail to see training as anything more than a necessary cost. But training underpins every facet of business. It affects your revenue, how your people perform, and what kind of talent you attract. And with technological advancements forcing the faster reskilling of learners, training can be the one factor that puts you ahead of the competition.

At Wahoo Learning, we can help companies deliver training and strive towards mutual success with our bespoke LMS and training programmes. Get in touch with our team to learn more about how we take care of delivering the entire training programme on your behalf.  

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The author - lloyd smith

The author - Lloyd Smith

Lloyd is the Managing Director of Wahoo Learning. He has a passion for the learning technology industry, particularly the latest innovations and technologies.

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