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According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), one of the main reasons for employees leaving a job is lack of training and career opportunities.
Whilst this applies as much to SMEs (small and medium sized businesses) as to larger organisations, it is generally considered that the pressures of both cost and time make high-quality, cost-effective training and development more prohibitive in SMEs. However, this need not be the case.
In today’s business world, and notwithstanding the recession, training and development is no longer seen as something that employees do for the benefit of the company but more as something that staff see as a ‘right’ to enable them to develop their career opportunities.
In theory, neither of these statements should be correct in their own right; both should be equally true with the sensible outcome being a mutual benefit to both the company and the employee.
So, how is this achieved in today’s extremely tough business environment? Well, the first thing is to ensure that there are positive, transparent communication channels in the business. Without such, it will be nigh on impossible for a business owner/manager to discuss training or career development opportunities with their staff.
It would certainly assist if the company has a good performance appraisal system in place, which if operated properly, should identify training needs. The appraisal system obviously needs to be aligned to the company’s business objectives to ensure that there is a mutually positive outcome to the appraisal (there will be more about appraisals in a future HR Talk).
Once the training needs have been identified, the key is to find ways of delivering the training without it being either cost or time prohibitive. One such way is to provide in-house ‘coaching’ or ‘mentoring’ where training is undertaken ‘on-the-job’. However, this is not always possible or relevant and therefore it maybe a case of looking to outsource training.
My personal view from experience over the years is that training should be delivered in short, bite-sized chunks. My own company has started to offer such training to businesses, large and small, on a wide variety of subjects. We have called this part of Turnstone “BiteSizeHR” and the initial take-up has been viewed positively by our clients.
The key to “BiteSizeHR” is to limit the potential of information overload by way of an on-going structured training plan that keeps the positive learning momentum going over a period of time.
In conclusion, I think it is hugely important for business owners to not only view the positive benefits that can be derived from training but, equally, if not more importantly, to understand the potential negative impact on both staff and the business of not training.