Why staff training and development is a wise investment
Do you develop your staff, or just train them? There's a big difference. Training and developing your staff can be a bit like deciding whether to have wine with dinner – it's an expensive luxury, but you know it will enhance the experience.
If you're not utilising the full spectrum of staff improvement tools at your disposal, your workforce is quite possibly operating in second gear. Imagine if it was suddenly steaming along in fifth. This article will attempt to explain why staff training and development is critical for all companies and why you're likely to be lapped if you don't use it.
What's the difference?
Let's throw another analogy into the argument. Training is like a 22inch analogue television; far from spectacular, but it does the job. Training and development is the whole digital, flat screen, surround sound experience with all the bells and whistles.
Training is the simple process of teaching someone how to do their job, nothing more, nothing less. It's an essential base and should be taken very seriously. Without it your analogue television won't even be tuned in, let alone offering the right contrast and brightness. Training gives your staff the practical skills and knowledge to carry out all the functions detailed in their job description to a satisfactory level.
Development focuses on a whole new skill set of decision making, creative thinking and personal performance. It gives your staff the chance to fully realise their potential and operate at the peak of their professional power. As an employer, it gives you a team of people driving your business as hard as it can possibly be driven.
We all have them, but topping up with specialised training goes a long way in targeting any areas not up to speed. If staff development programs are already in place, chances are your workers will identify problems themselves through their own newly learned process of self-improvement. A fully developed worker takes responsibility for their actions, needs less supervision and is more consistently productive.
A properly trained and developed worker is an informed and proactive worker, in tune with their role and, most importantly, their goals and anticipated achievements. They're confident and responsible, with a heightened desire to succeed and reward you for the time and money you've invested in them. Best of all, they're happy. And a happy worker is a loyal worker.
Yes, there are costs in staff development. There are also costs in product development, but you're not going to stop doing that. Developing your staff is no different. They are your most important tool. Without them, products are just inventory.
With your staff operating at full strength, products become profits. Have a look at your competitors. Find out how well they develop their staff. Then develop yours even more. Your input determines their output. Maximise it and your business will reach its full potential.
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