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The Importance of Training All Employees (and Not Just the Top 5%)

Training enables growth for employees across any number of industries. Employees who receive training tend to perform better than those who receive no training and also tend to feel more fulfilled. As such, training and leadership development should be made available to all employees.

According to Big Think expert Sir Andrew Likierman, who serves as Dean of the London Business School, many good leaders start out mediocre and develop the skills they need over time through training:

“What leadership skills training can do is to bring out the best in all of us. To take the mediocre leader to a higher level; to take the good leader to be a brilliant leader; and, perhaps, to teach somebody who is not a very good leader that they may not be a very good leader and, perhaps, seek to do something else.”

How does training employees at all levels benefit your business or organization? Four of the ways that employee development can improve or enhance organizations include:

Helps Employees Feel Valued, Boosts Morale

For some companies and businesses, offering quality professional training to employees takes a back burner to other priorities. In some companies that do offer training, the development opportunities are often lacking and don’t serve to benefit the workers.
According to an American Psychological Association survey that was cited in a recent Harvard Business Review article, “training and development consistently emerges as one of the areas employees are least satisfied with.” The survey respondents who said they feel valued by their employers are:

  • More likely to be satisfied with their overall jobs;
  • More likely to become engaged in other employer-related activities; and
  • Less likely to feel stressed or want to leave their positions.

When training is only offered to an “elite” or selective group of employees, this perceived snub can lead to decreased employee morale and a sense of feeling undervalued or unappreciated by their employer.

Contributes to Increased Productivity

A second benefit of investing in training employees across the board is that it can help to improve your organization’s overall productivity (and thereby increase its profitability). By giving employees training to help them develop the skills and knowledge they need to better do their jobs and to grow as professionals, you can help them to perform better and more efficiently.
Employee training doesn’t have to stop at the generic level. Specialized training or even cross-functional training can help workers gain specific skill sets that may fit an existing or future need within your organization. It truly is a win-win for everyone.

Establishes an Organizational Learning Culture

Developing a learning culture is crucial for any business or organization. When you stop learning, you stop growing and developing as a person and as a professional. Employees who are actively engaged in learning feel more confident and competent at what they do, leading them to want to take on more innovative or challenging tasks.
However, Randstad’s 2017 Q3 report shows that more than one-third of surveyed U.S. employees have done nothing to increase their current skills or gain new ones. Although many employees feel it is their responsibility by offering or requiring training of your workers, you can help to encourage them to want to learn and work on new skills. This can help your organization achieve a higher rate of return on your professional development investment.

Increases Employee Agility and Fosters Curiosity

In an increasingly global and changing workplace, agility and curiosity are key for employees to be successful. Often times, with agility comes a sense of innovation. It is no longer effective in the modern workplace to only be able to apply existing knowledge to their area of expertise. Today, employees are now often expected to be able to identify new areas of improvement and learn how to develop solutions to new problems.
This need for innovation can be met by fostering a sense of curiosity and a desire to learn. Training all employees and not just the top 5% can serve as an impetus for positive change. By encouraging your workers to actively engage their minds and skills, you may discover leaders within your ranks who never previously stood out in the crowd.
Employees who want to learn new skills and can effectively apply them to virtually any situation are able to more effectively adapt when the unexpected occurs. Demonstrating this kind of flexibility can help employees take on whatever challenges that may occur and will only serve to more greatly benefit your business or organization.

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