If you were given the choice between two different doctors—one that is trained, and one that is not—which one would you choose? That’s an easy answer right? Then why is it that many small business owners don’t recognize the importance of properly training their employees? I will tell you why.
There is a myth among small businesses that says —it costs too much money to train employees— so they resort to on-the-job training and out-dated employee handbooks. But the truth to the myth is, if you have a dedicated training program in place, employees feel good about the work they do and feel valued by the company they work for. It’s the lack of proper training and accountability that make employees look for work elsewhere.
Having an employee training program means your workers are consistently learning new skills that improve production, reduce mistakes, build confidence, and creates a better work environment. An investment in your employees’ skill sets is an investment in your company and supports the truth that, “when employees get better, then quality gets better, the company gets better, the profits get better, customers get better and recruitment gets better.” See my point?
Here are 5 reasons you should have an employee training program in place.
1. Untrained Employees = Unhappy Employees
Employees who feel inadequate, unsupported, or unqualified are unhappy. They aren’t satisfied in their work, which will cause them to underperform, make mistakes, and not care about their work performance. Unhappy employees cost the business valuable time and money.
Training addresses weaknesses – Most employees will have some weaknesses in their workplace skills and a training program allows you to strengthen the areas the employee needs to improve. A training program brings all employees to a similar level of skills and knowledge, and will expose weak links within the company who rely on others to pick up their slack. Providing a consistent training program creates a cohesive team of employees who can take over for one another as needed, without constant help and supervision from managers.
2. Untrained Workers Have a Low Production Value
The quality and performance of untrained employees work is lower and of less value than properly trained employees. Employees who have not been fully trained cannot be held accountable for information they haven’t been taught, leaving room for mistakes, insubordination and poor performance.
Training creates consistency – A well designed training program ensures that employees will be consistent with the company’s policies and everyone will be aware of the expectations and procedures within the company. Accountability to policies and procedures brings a feeling of fairness to the workplace and employees’ performance will increase when policies are upheld. Increased employee performance equals increased profits for the company.
3. Untrained Workers Are Inefficient
When employees aren’t properly trained to perform their tasks and responsibilities it takes them longer to do the work, costing the company time, money, and effort. Workplace morale is effected when you have poorly trained employees who are self starters working with employees who are not. Team cohesion is an asset to the company whereas, team division is a liability.
Training increases productivity and quality – Employee productivity will increase when a training program is implemented and managed properly. Increased efficiency in procedures ensures the quality of work, competency, and employee confidence, that will improve the business and it’s profits.
4. Lost Time/Money Due to Mistakes
When an untrained worker makes a mistake, the time and materials used are lost and the work still has to be redone. For example: creating a document incorrectly means reprinting the file, more time to fix the mistake, more materials cost in paper and ink, and more time rechecking the work. If it were done correctly the first time, no costs would be lost.
Training reduces employee turnover – No one likes making mistakes or being bad at their job and employees view training and development as an additional company benefit. Employees are more likely to feel valued if they feel like you have invested in them and are less likely to look for another job, cutting down on recruitment costs due to staff retention.
5. Insufficient employee training can result in lost customers
Untrained employees can cause many of the mistakes listed above, and those mistakes and inefficiencies can cause your business to lose customers. That is the worst possible scenario, but it can happen.
Training enhances company reputation – Having a strong and successful training program helps to develop your brand as an employer, making your company a target for top talent who seek out opportunities to use their skills and learn new ones. Ongoing training and development of satisfied and inspired employees generates creativity and new ideas that can take your business to a new level.
Employee training programs may seem to cost money and wasted time that can walk out the door if the employee decides to quit. However, the added costs of having poorly trained staff shows the importance of having a well designed, efficient and updated training program for your employees. Developing and implementing a continuous, effective and inspiring training program will increase your employees’ satisfaction, production, performance and ultimately your company’s profits.