As a technical trainer and instructional designer for the past 12 years, I have seen first-hand how having a solid technical training program can increase organization productivity, effectiveness, and morale. I have also seen the negative impact of de-prioritizing training and viewing it as a nice-to-have and not part of the critical path of a project, or worse, eliminating it altogether. So why is having a mature and fully-operationalized technical training program necessary as part of a healthy organization? The reasons are plenty. Check out my top three below.
- Higher retention: Offering project-based and on-going training during the workday sends a message to the employee that they are worth investing in. It is not all about output (while that is important!); it is also about growing and developing an employee so they can offer even more to the organization as well as themselves. This increases productivity but also instills feelings of self-worth and value which, let’s be honest, we all need and want in the workplace. If I am growing and learning at my job, you can bet I’m going to stay. Allowing employees to become stagnant and without opportunities for development is a surefire way to lose key talent. And we all know how expensive recruiting is!
- Improved recruiting: Speaking of recruiting, being able to show potential talent what your company offers in terms of development opportunities is critical. After all, the best prospects are interviewing your company as much as you are interviewing them. If you are able to show them the type of training that is in place, what they will have the opportunity to learn, and that their growth and development is valued, it may just be that edge you have over the others companies they are looking at. Technical training opportunities are highly sought out and can differentiate you from the competition.
- Better output: This is a given but still needs to be said. When you train your people effectively, they will get more done. What does effective training look like? It is hands-on. It requires the student to do something, not just absorb something. It is measurable and has follow-up systems in place. The wonderful thing is that there are several amazing companies that provide solid, innovative, and accessible training. This means the effective training can be outsourced if you simply do not have the internal resources to develop programs in-house. Regardless of how it is developed and delivered, there is no question that investing in training will come back to your organization in output and so much more. Every time I take a training that is done well, I return to work with fresh energy and motivation for my job. And that is priceless!
More employers need to view training as a competitive and strategic necessity and provide the training team a ‘seat at the table.’ I have seen this done well and also done poorly. While other factors are certainly involved, it is my experience that when training becomes a priority, the employees are more likely to produce more and stick around.