Developing Skills Through Training At Work 

A lot of people don’t like having to go through on going training at work, simply because they feel it takes time away from more important issues. On top of that, they claim it also adds unnecessary stress to a job they can handle without the extra training. For some people this may be correct, but not for the majority. There are a large number of reasons why you should take training at work, and here are just a few. 

1. Promotion 

This is often one of the main reasons why people sign up for training at work. The training helps to develop their skills, plus shows that they are dedicated to the company. By taking training, your employers can see that you are going over and above the duty required of you in your current position. That is, of course, unless training is mandatory. Because of this, you are more likely to be considered for a promotion. 

2. Keeping up to date 

There are a lot of areas of work that are updated regularly. Examples of these are Lawyers with updates in both case law and statues, as well as engineers with new technology and techniques. It is vital for people in these kind of jobs to take regular training, simply so that they can continue their work to their current standards. 

3. Future prospects 

If you are considering leaving your job and looking for another one, then taking these training courses first will give you a better chance of securing another job. Your potential future employers will see that you are up to date with the industry, plus have the necessary skills for their area of work. Even if you aren’t considering finding another job, they will help if you get offered something better. 

4. Finances 

Most of the time, your employer will pay for this training for you. This means that it won’t have the extra strain on your finances that it would have if you had to do it out of work. Take advantage of this! 

Ultimately, on-going training at work is something you should seriously consider accepting if it is offered to you. You will be in a better position to keep your job, and have a better chance of promotion. It is generally paid for by the employer, and you might even find it interesting. Either way, it will be a bit of a break from work, and you will get to meet some new interesting people. 

Case For Training 

Whilst it would be excellent if all bosses were forward thinking from the point of view of both business development and individual development, sometimes that’s just not the case. Some employers have tunnel vision and cannot see the importance of working on the business as well as in the business to ensure that they are always cutting edge and ahead of the game. When you have a full order book it’s sometimes seen as too risky to ‘jeapordise’ that by developing the workforce. 

Sometimes employers, particularly small employers, also feel that if they invest too much in people the individuals will take these skills to a bigger and better firm and leave them with just the bill! 

Therefore in order to make a case to your employers for development, it’s important to be able to perceive things as they might to the other person or your boss. The key to being influential is information and the ability to see things from the other person’s perspective so that you can make a an influential argument that either takes the other person to your point of view as you are able to answer any objections or able to get a positive compromise whereby both of you feel that you have the best deal. 

Where you can justify and quantify a return on investment for an employer, this is always the most powerful argument. For example 

  • How will this training help the organisation make more money and by how much and when? 
  • How will this training make things easier / quicker, how and when? 
  • How will this training enable the organisation to reduce costs and by how much? 

All of these are music to the small business owner and are very difficult arguments to reject. Where you can give a cost saving in the training, this also makes training very attractive, there are various ways and grants available. For example Glasgow City Council, Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Enterprise all have had schemes that enable small business to grow through employee development; it is worth taking the time to look at whatever is available in your area. The main criteria generally is development of the business. 

Training individuals that then leave is another fear of the small employer, this means that not only have the paid for the training of the person that has left, they may have to also pay for training other employees – who may just leave as well! Therefore if there is some written guarantee that individuals will stay for a reasonable amount of time or they have to pay the training costs back to the employer is one way of making an employer less reluctant to develop individuals. This is particularly common with professional qualifications which are important to individuals and the increase the company credibility. 

Therefore in order to ensure that as an individual you feel you are growing and being developed, sometimes you have to help your boss understand that this actually benefits both of you and the more you can quantify and reassure the more likely you are to have a positive response. 

How Training Benefits Employees 

For all organisations, no matter how large or small, employee training is a must. Not only does training benefit the employer by providing their staff with the skills needed to do the job, but it also benefits the employee in a number of different ways. 

The obvious benefit to employees is that training teaches new skills which can make the job easier, save time, cut costs and can even put your business one step ahead of your competitors. Training can be provided in a number of different ways: either by employees of the company or by external trainers, and on the job or off the job, away from the employee’s normal working environment. Induction training is the third form of training, which is conducted when the employee first joins the company and provides them with all of the basic skills needed to perform the role. 

Besides providing new skills, training has a huge number of other benefits to the employee. Training is a fantastic way of enriching an employee and keeping them motivated within the role, with the brand new knowledge and skills learned via training sessions helping to keep the working environment fresh and interesting for the employee, and preventing them from becoming bored. It also creates more of a bond between employer and employee: by investing (both financially and from a time point of view) in training, it shows that the employer really does value the employee and wants them to progress. 

The learning of new skills and ways of working can also help to boost an employee’s confidence, providing them with the necessary tools to perform their role quickly, efficiently and accurately. It also has the benefit of enabling the employee to undertake work that may not normally be in their remit, giving them the confidence to step up to the mark and take on additional work in areas outside of their own when necessary. 

Regular training can also help an employee to “think outside of the box”. Access to training in various aspects of the role may give them ideas as to how things could be done better or differently in their workplace: leading them to making suggestions to senior management that have the possibility of being adopted to make the role easier and improve company performance. Not only does this benefit the employer in terms of time or cost savings, but can improve the employee’s job satisfaction by making them feel like they are contributing to the company’s performance in a broader sense. 

The regularity of training at work depending on individual circumstances. Training in IT software, languages and operating systems, for example, should ideally be provided as and when new updates and ways of doing things emerge, meaning that the employee is always at the top of his or her game. Training in aspects of any role that relate to legal requirements should be at least annually, but should be reviewed on a case by case basis. 

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the regularity of training. Training, however, should not just be suggested by the employer: employees should be encouraged to make senior management aware of any training requirements they have that would make their role easier, improve their happiness and would help them to support the company to the best of their ability. 

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