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AS I SEE IT! Staff training: Company’s greatest asset!

Is training only for new staff? Every time HR hires employees, their first move is to train them. Just like any new employee, I went through this process when I was hired the first time. But, is it only for new employees? Do old employees still need training?

Yes! Believing that training the staff is the greatest company asset, the San Jose Job Corps Center (SJJC) held its second All Staff Training Day for this year at the center’s Gymnasium in its 11-acre campus which started with a Quarterly Awards for Outstanding employees of the quarter. SJJC believes that continuous training is a must to be able to survive the 21st century educational challenges.

In her opening remarks, Center Director Davina Hernandez recognized all the center employees and reiterated her “open door policy”. She also expected that all staff offices will likewise adopt the “open door policy” for staff and students.

The awardees are Irene Eugenio, property assistant, award presented by Admin Director Sunil Kinerath; Annie Zachariah, Academic Instructor, presented by Deputy Center Director Kirk Mansfield; Debbie Chen-Tam, Counselor, award presented by Residential Manager Benjamin Bishop; Kee Yang, admissions counselor, Fresno Office, presented by Center Director Hernandez; and Linh Hoang, award presented by Records Manager Mary Eros.

Training and development help companies gain and retain top talent, increase job satisfaction and morale, improve productivity and earn more profit. Additionally, businesses that have actively interested and dedicated employees, according to business statistics, see 41 percent lower absenteeism rates, and 17 percent higher productivity.

This also works in educational institutions because they need to cope with the rapid technological advances that will keep their classrooms adopt to the needs of students.

It could be argued – and rightly so – that employees are a company’s greatest asset, and, therefore, investing in their training and development is key to sustaining business growth and success. This commitment, Ottawa University said in their website, makes sense when you consider the lengthy processes businesses carry out to recruit and hire qualified staff. Oftentimes, though, the emphasis on caring about the professional development of employees ends after they are hired.

That should not be the case. Training should be whole year-round for all employees, old and new, it should not stop after hiring.

Studies show that organizations engaged in employee development   see increased sales and doubled profits double compared to organizations not committed to employee engagement. Dedicated training and development fosters employee engagement, and a more efficient, competitive, and engaged workforce is critical to your company’s financial performance. Furthermore, 93% of employees will stay longer when a company invests in career development. Training and development help companies gain and retain top talent, increase job satisfaction and morale, improve productivity and earn more profit. Additionally, businesses that have actively interested and dedicated employees see 41 percent lower absenteeism rates, and 17 percent higher productivity.

The top five benefits of training and development in helping their companies reach their strategic goals (Ottawa University website) are as follows:

Retains Employees. Retention is a major challenge for employers but retaining strong workers can be achieved through career development. In fact, training and development has become so centralized within businesses that it is often used as a competitive advantage when hiring. Offering career development initiatives helps employees establish a sense of value within the company and fosters loyalty, ultimately resulting in increased staff retention and a 59% lower staff turnover rate.

In my 26 years of employment in various businesses and educational institutions, employees who were trained regularly stay in their respective companies, compared to those who don’t have trainings…  at all.

Develops Future Leaders. Targeting employees with the skills for future leadership can be vital in establishing a business for growth and evolution. Leadership talent can be acquired through new hires, or HR professionals can select current employees as managerial candidates. According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), having professional development   ensures an organization is focused on future business goals by preparing promotable talent.

As I See It, regular training is a prerequisite for managers and supervisors. This will hone their knowledge and keep them updated of developments in the workplace.

Empowers Employees. Leaders who feel empowered within the workplace will be more effective at influencing employees and gaining their trust. Consequently, those employees will feel a greater sense of autonomy, value, and confidence within their work. SHRM defines employee autonomy as the extent to which an employee feels independent and can makes their own decisions about the work they do.

Yes, this is the environment employees need for them to stay longer in their companies. If one is given the leeway to achieve his/her goals, the feeling is great building up confidence and self-respect.

Boosts Workplace Engagement. Finding ways to bolster the consistent engagement of employees can diminish boredom in the workplace, which left unchecked can create feelings of dissatisfaction and negative working habits. Regular training and development initiatives can prevent workplace idleness and in turn will help businesses establish regular re-evaluation of their employees, skills and processes. Furthermore, it will influence company culture by instilling an emphasis on planning and can prompt company analysis and planning as it requires employers to review existing talent and evaluate growth and development opportunities internally, rather than via recruitment.

This benefit will keep the employees busy and always on the alert to learn more and adjust to real company problems.

Builds Workplace Relationships. Finally, providing opportunities for employees to explore new topics, refine their skills and expand their knowledge can help your team members bond with each other. During these training and development sessions, they will tackle new challenges together. They can also lean on one another for various learning opportunities by collaborating with colleagues who have specific areas of expertise. Research has shown that peer is actually their preferred method of learning. Learning from each other’s strengths not only leads to a more well-rounded workforce, but those bonds can also improve retention and engagement.

As I See It, yes, training sessions develop camaraderie and respect from among employees who are at the same time developing close relationships while engaging in discussions and exchange of ideas during training time.

With these five benefits in mind, along with others not covered here, it’s easy to discern why employee training and development matters in the workplace.  Training and development are what the companies keep them moving!

Business leaders, educators, managers… take note of the greatest asset for progress and success: training and development!

(ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments, email the author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com.)