|Business owners are struggling to do more with less in today’s difficult economy and are exploring new ways to stretch their dollars while maximizing employee productivity. The US Small Business Administration reports that most businesses recognize the importance of training employees and realize that as the marketplace becomes more competitive, training programs are both marketable to potential employees and critical to a business’ success.|
According to a report composed by The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), an organization’s investment in learning technologies pays-off through cost savings and efficiency gains. Training is an essential means by which employers can attract and retain quality employees, as well as increase the efficiency, output, and production of a company.
As business owners know only too well, the days of employees remaining with one company for the entirety of their career is gone. Small to mid-sized businesses are at a distinct disadvantage in attracting the best-qualified workers, as they usually are unable to offer or manage comprehensive employee training and professional development programs that larger companies present. Since employee turn-over requires the company to continually hire and train new employees, implantation of training programs can significantly further a company’s growth potential and profitability.
Besides the direct financial impact to a business’ bottom-line, there are other benefits to investing in employee training programs. For example, training increases employees’ skill levels, positively affecting performance, and productivity. It provides employees with valuable tools to manage their activities more effectively. Training also increases employee satisfaction, deferring the need to recruit, hire and train new employees – all of which adds costs to businesses. Another benefit of having a well-trained workforce is the reduction of employer liability.
In today’s society, employers are at risk for a myriad of lawsuits, including discrimination, wrongful termination and sexual harassment. Companies are less likely to face these types of situations if employees and managers know their rights and responsibilities. Training helps to reduce the risk of inappropriate behavior and the resulting lawsuits while increasing productivity and employee satisfaction.
While the benefits of employee training may be clear, businesses often work under the misconception that it is too costly. However, any business can provide its workforce with the necessary tools to succeed. Depending on the investment level a business owner can make, there are several different training options available.
The most accessible training resource an employer has is its own workforce. Companies with limited budgets can conduct their own in-house training sessions led by employees with remarkable skills in specific areas. Employers can also provide access to books, videos and e-learning tools and encourage discussions between the staff. Another inexpensive training technique is to join a local business association, which may yield new avenues of training options, including government-sponsored seminars.
An alternative to in-house training programs is to work with a Professional Employee Organization (PEO). PEOs provide small to medium-size businesses full-service human resource management and payroll activities. A major benefit of a PEO relationship is the access to experts. With specialists ranging from human resource management advisors to crisis management counselors, PEOs can help employers through employment related situations. Most PEOs offer training programs that can increase employee productivity; some even offer specialized development programs to their clients. These value-added benefits include online and in-person training sessions for employees and managers. These training sessions focus on pre-employment and hiring, regulatory compliance, workplace safety, and legal terminations. The training seminars offered by PEOs benefit both the employer and employee, providing them with the necessary tools to succeed.
Regardless of which training options an employer implements, there is a clear correlation between productivity and training. In order to survive the unexpected and all too frequent shifts in business, it is necessary to have a well-prepared workforce. Training strengthens an employee’s knowledge base, increases core skills that yield higher levels of productivity, creates a sense of loyalty and well-being within the company, and is an added benefit to help maintain and attract qualified individuals.
Vol 4, Issue 4
Chinese carmaker Zotye Automobile has formed a U.S. sales and distribution company and has begun a search for dealers of a yet-to-be-named SUV.