HR Corner: Keep Your Team Ahead with Employee Training

Employee training is essential to the longevity of employees’ careers, and to the efficiency and bottom line of your business. As an employer or manager, the idea of sending an employee to training may cause some concern. It costs money and takes time away from the physical responsibilities of immediate business, but ensuring your employees’ knowledge is up to or exceeds company standards is a smart investment.

There is nothing more professionally rewarding for a dedicated employee than effectively executing a task or project given to them, especially when done with a sense of knowledge and confidence. On the contrary, feelings of confusion, anxiety and fear of demotion or termination can plague those given an assignment they have no knowledge on how to successfully fulfill, which decreases professional morale and belief in self-ability. Employees with the overall goal to seek training and pointers, as well as gain an understanding and a sense of guidance to productively take full charge of their duties, are generally more successful in their day-to-day jobs.

The article “Why Employee Development Is Important, Neglected and Can Cost You Talent,” published by, emphasizes two reasons why development planning makes good sense. The first reason is because it helps build loyalty, thereby increasing productivity. Loyal employees look to build a career with their employer and have goals to continue to learn and grow within the business. This encourages long-term business relationships that build trust, reliability and security between employee and employer. The second highlights the interest you take in the future of your team members.

Cross training is also necessary to ensure your team performs at its highest potential. Training a cashier on managing inventory, and teaching the inventory associate on customer service allows both employees to learn new skills, making them more valuable to execute two different styles of responsibilities if necessary. This also helps to combat the monotony of completing the same responsibilities daily. However, it’s important to select employees you know would be enthusiastic about learning new skills, since the idea of change may cause certain individuals some discomfort.

Employees who have been in the same position for long periods of time may know how to execute their day-to-day duties flawlessly, but continued training is also necessary for them. In many industries, changes are ever-present, and employees within their fields of expertise need constant refreshers to stay up-to-date with changes in procedures, technology, products, strategies and more to keep their skills fresh and sharp, and your business thriving.

Insisting on employee training increases the chances of employer/employee satisfaction and helps to decrease employee turnover, which can be costly. According to a Harvard Business Review study, “Why Top Young Managers Are in a Nonstop Job Hunt,” dissatisfaction with some employee-development efforts appears to fuel many early exits. This is something to avoid at all costs, seeing as a new employee can cost 18%-26% more than the worker’s base salary or possibly higher depending on how large the company is, as reported by

Training programs don’t always have to be a financial burden on businesses. The costs can be reduced by way of developing platforms that are executed in-house with internal trainers. This ensures product knowledge and application theories that employees are able to understand and better promote, thereby building more effective customer relations. On the other hand, offsite training helps to transform learning into an experience. Being offsite allows the employee a change of environment, which increases the chances of social engagement, a higher level of attention to what is being lectured and the opportunity to network with other professionals within the same field.

Offering one-on-one time to comprehend the needs and wants of your employees can help you build a stronger development plan. This process is effective in bringing awareness to imperative questions such as: Is there a need for training? Who needs training? What form of training would be most beneficial? And does the training align with your business’s overall objectives? Having these inquiries clearly answered allows you to streamline your development plan, ensuring your employees receive the training necessary to excel without overpaying for unnecessary information. Furthermore, over-informing can be boring and essentially make it more difficult for your employees to retain information, which defeats the purpose of trying to empower them with knowledge.

Similar to learning a new language, perfecting a recipe or even something as cliché as riding a bicycle, the saying is true that practice make perfect. It’s imperative for employees to remain knowledgeable about the core aspect of your business. Whether on or offsite, training improves overall employee performance, discourages turnover and saves money and time from a grueling hiring process. It also creates longstanding relationships internally and with loyal customers. Ultimately, employee training is an essential ingredient for positive morale and a prosperous business.•••