Why successful companies invest in training and development

IT is false economy to try to save money by avoiding training people to their potential. Employee retention can be expensive and challenging for many organisations – but so is the hiring process.

As Sir Richard Branson is credited with saying: “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

A small regular investment in staff development will reap results in terms of boosting enthusiasm, building workforce engagement, increasing your reputation and even attracting top talent to your business.

Successful organisation know that staff who are developed feel greater loyalty to their employer. If this investment is skipped it can lead to them feeling undervalued, be more likely to underperform and eventually leave. This means a costly recruitment programme and potential investment in training whoever comes on as a replacement.

But ‘development’ doesn’t necessarily mean sending staff on training courses.

Companies who operate an internal mentor or buddy system are incorporating mutual development benefits in both the mentee and mentor. They generate ongoing positive changes that percolate throughout an organisation.

It is possible to transfer knowledge in the workplace informally too. This can be as basic as colleagues sitting beside each other at the workstation or having a quiet coffee in the staff room, as well as through in-house training courses to pass on new knowledge or reinforce existing knowledge or processes.

Companies who identify the ‘people of potential’ within their organisations and give them opportunities to diversify their skills, cross train or retrain, find they automatically fill succession planning gaps and potential shortages.

Many take advantage of the wide range of free resources online, including webinars, LinkedIn articles and Ted Talks. Some may only be a taster but enough to have the desired boost of knowledge. There is even, dare I say it, library books!

The message is pretty simple: What’s right for you depends on your business, your needs and your resources – and the Chamber training team is here to help you put together the right package.

I used to ask delegates completing training if they had enjoyed their course but stopped after being taken to task by one of the trainers who said: “They are not here to enjoy, they are here to learn how to change behaviours”.

I think we are both right. Staff development should always be informative, value-adding and impact positively on your organisation’s bottom line; but it should also always be an investment that’s understood and enjoyed by both employer and employee.