At times, when working hard to ensure profits, businesses can lose sight of how important it is to train employees on the most up-to-date and relevant practices. In reality, a failure to invest in quality employee training can cost your business more and not only from a monetary perspective. There is a whole array of costs that can come from ineffective training, such as employee loss or lack of motivation. Training programs are not money-pits for a business, but rather essential investment. This article offers a number of indicators that your training may need addressing and explores the real cost of poor training.
Signs you may need to review your training practices include…
Outdated Content. When did you last update your training methods? Technology, processes, regulations and industry trends are constantly changing and evolving, and this needs to be reflected in training. This involves both internal and external training. If you don’t have a process for regularly reviewing your training practices or know that your training process involves materials from more than a few years, this is a red flag that your content is outdated.
Ineffective Material. Many businesses rely on ineffective methods of training. For example, on-the-job training or buddy systems are common in multiple industries, and they are rarely effective alone. Old E-Learning systems are also weak. As Deloitte indicate; easy access to continuous learning is imperative in the digital age, especially when it comes to workplace learning. If your learner participation is declining, it may be because your training courses are difficult to access, or employees feel they are simply not useful or relevant. Paying for training programs or facilities that are not being used is costing your business more than investing in up-to-date, quality resources.
Lack of consistency. A sign that your training methods may be insufficient is signs of inconsistency. This can happen in a number of ways, the first being through the previously mentioned training styles such as on-the-job training. Whilst this may be sufficient for some elements of training, it cannot be expected to work for everything. Expecting all employees to pick up everything as they go and from others, creates a disparity among employees of the same level. This includes managers, as there is no consistency in what is being picked up and what isn’t.
However, sometimes you need inconsistency to be consistent – when it comes to training methods. Whilst we believe in the power of e-learning, effective training is never completely standardised. As training can encompass everything from health and safety procedures to communication training, business development training to compliance training, it’s important to know what is best taught in the classroom, what can be completely done through e-learning, and other considerations such as classroom group sizes… and so on. If you simply offer 100 e-learning courses to employees with no variation of training style or follow-up through other means, you can assume this is inefficient.
What are the consequences of poor training?
Unsatisfied Employees. One of the most critical consequences of poor training is employee dissatisfaction. Employees today are keen to learn and upskill and tend to favour employers who invest in their development. Employees will feel valued if they feel their personal development is something the business cares about. Old, out-of-date training materials do not send that message, and can make employees feel like merely a cog in a big machine.
Investing in up-to-date, quality materials will help you attract the best new employees, and help you retain existing ones.
Not to mention, by directly investing in upskilling your workforce, you are strengthening it, which directly impacts production.
Unsafe Work Environment. Not only do you have a moral responsibility, but it is also a legal requirement in most countries to ensure the safety of your employees. In Britain, this is in the form of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. If your employees are not constantly trained in the most up-to-date safety protocols, you risk severe consequences. Poor training materials that are not regularly reviewed and adjusted, put the health, or sometimes lives of employees in jeopardy. This can result in fines or in some cases, the shut-down of your business.
Reduced Production. As aforementioned, failing to develop your workforce may put you at an industry disadvantage, not only because you may lose your best employees, but because competitors may be strengthening their workforce which directly boosts production levels while you fall behind.
Another way in which poor training can result in low production is tied to the previously highlighted Health and Safety risks. Protecting your employees means fewer absences, subsequently contributing to overall efficiency. Not only that, but the feeling of security felt by employees who know there are sufficient procedures in place contributes to their focus.
These lists are not exhaustive, and poor training can impact more than employee retention and production levels.
Once you have identified that your training practices may be costing your more than they’re worth, you can begin adopting new strategies to refresh your program and implement methods to keep it reviewed and up-to date. This involves taking time to assess your current program and take the steps needed to ensure the right training is being implemented.