Workplace training is vital if you want your company to be functioning at its best, but providing effective training opportunities for your staff is also key in the recruitment and retainment of employees. With over half of employees (56%) saying they’d leave if they weren’t offered high quality training, you need to be providing this for your staff.
In a recent survey of over 750 office workers – both employees and employers – we asked people how important training is to them, how it is best delivered and how their needs are met in their current roles. From this we’ve put together a handy guide on what employers should be offering to develop their worker’s skills, based on the opinions of employees themselves.
The Current Situation
Training, whether on your first day or as part of on-going development, is hugely important to keeping staff on top of their game, committed and satisfied. Despite this, there is a serious shortfall in some training areas.
According to our survey, as many as one in three new employees (31%) will not receive any training as part of an induction process. The news is slightly brighter when it comes to ongoing training offered alongside a job, with 79% of people saying this was offered at their companies, but if they were looking at funding for a qualification relevant to their job, only 59% would receive support from their employer.
We found a pretty hefty regional split when it comes to the likelihood of receiving a training plan. Just two-thirds (66%) of northern office workers are offered ongoing training. If you live down South, however, you have it a lot better as 82% of employees in this region receive ongoing training from their employers.
As we explore the reasoning behind this north-south discrepancy, the results show that it may be due to the simple fact that southerners are a lot more likely to ask for training (30%) than northern employees (24%). We guess the saying’s true – if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Millennials and post-millennials (those born after 1981) are the most likely to receive induction training, with a whopping 80% of the younger generation stating they received it when they started their current job.
For Baby Boomers and Gen X, around 40% have not received this vital training.
It’s not just the provision of training that is important here, but also the quality. Employers who do provide training for their workers are not always getting it right. Just 59% of employees say that they are satisfied with their training. This indicates that there is massive room for improvement in training schemes.
How Important is Workplace Training?
With over half of the UK workforce prepared to leave their job if no training is provided, keeping your team happy and satisfied with a rewarding development plan has never been more important. Employees aren’t all talk either – over 30% stated that they have previously left a job where no training was provided.
The importance your staff place on training is affected by the department they belong to and the industry you operate in. Our survey found that it’s HR employees who think the most of training, with 40% of them having said they’d actually left a job because of lack of training, and 80% saying they’d leave their current position if development opportunities were not offered.
These findings illustrate just how important it is to provide great training to your staff. Not only does it mean they’ll be performing at their best, but it reduces staff turnover and improves staff satisfaction, which is all great news for your business.
What Do Your Employees Want from You?
Your employees want to be better, and they’re willing to learn. When asked to rank the most important benefits of training to them, they unanimously agreed that skill development and personal performance were the top motives behind wanting to receive workplace training. It’s up to you to make sure you are providing the best ways for your staff to do this.
When asked what type of training staff wanted to see, the most popular choice was personally tailored provisions to help achieve personal development goals. This was followed closely by mandate training – the stuff that employers legally have to be providing. This suggests that you should be trying to create Personal Development Plans (PDPs) for all your staff members, so they are working towards clear goals.
Delivery of training was also important to staff. It’s all well and good investing in training, but if your employees aren’t taking it in, it’s not a great way to spend your hard-earned cash. On-the-job training won the title of preferred method of training by a landslide (43%), followed by coach-led (25%) and eLearning (15%).
How Business Owners Can Get It Right in 2019
Now you know the areas employees would most like to improve, all that’s left is to execute it. Easier said than done? Don’t worry. Our survey revealed the best ways of training your employees (according to employees).
The thing that’s stopping most business owners from providing staff with the opportunity to develop their skills in these areas is lack of budget (53%). But with mandate training, such as GDPR, fire safety and health and safety, you can’t afford not to offer these kinds of opportunities or refresher sessions.
As well as putting yours and your employees’ health at risk, not providing adequate health and safety training is actually against the law. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 requires employers to provide the information, training and supervision necessary for keeping their employees safe.
Once you’re up to scratch with your mandate training, the rest of what your employees are looking for should be relatively easy to provide. As we talked about above, employees are looking for opportunities to reach personal development goals, and they prefer to achieve these through on the job training, mentoring and eLearning.
The first thing you should do as employers is talk to your workers on a one-to-one level. Discuss what their goals and aspirations are and break these down into achievable chunks and build them in to a PDP. These should be written up and shared with the employee and their manager and reviewed regularly. Not only does this give you a better idea of how to improve your staff’s skills and invest your money, it makes your employees feel that you are listening to them and are invested in their future.
On the job training and mentoring programmes (wanted by a total of 68% of staff) can be developed in house, without the need for the additional expense of external teachers. Consider setting up a mentoring system in your business where new starters and junior members of staff are buddied up with a more senior counterpart for guidance. This could involve formal goal setting and meetings, or just give people the chance to chat to someone who has been where they are now.
When it comes to eLearning, this can be a great way of training staff without being as time-heavy as other options. A lot of free or cost-effective training courses can be found online, so explore these and share with your staff. They can be completed during quiet periods, that your employees identify, so they are often easier to balance with heavy workloads.
Here at instantprint, investing in our employees’ development is one of the things that keeps us at the forefront of the online printing industry. As part of this, we’ve recently introduced a dedicated Trainer, Sean Kachmarski, to our team.
To help kickstart your own staff development scheme, we asked Sean for his top tips for providing training to your employees.
Top 5 Tips for On-the-Job Training
- Learning and Development Starts from the Top
As a business owner, it’s important to inspire your team by leading the way.
- Quantify What You Want to Change
Decide what change needs to happen, e.g. increase sales or improve customer reviews, in a way that makes it easy to measure (create a baseline).
- Training Should Be Bespoke
Following step 2, create some learning outcomes to target this area. These will help you to create something fit for purpose.
- Make Training Fun, Dynamic and Thought-Provoking
Training should take employees away from the fast pace of the office and lets them reflect on their current ways of working. This is essential, so that they are able to embed their new knowledge to a potential new way of working
- Make Sure It’s Worth It
Follow up your training in a few months’ time to see if any change has happened. Track the impact by comparing it to your baseline data to figure out if refresher courses are needed.
By Sean Kachmarski, Trainer at instantprint
Training is important for every business. It keeps your workforce safe, improves employee satisfaction and ensures your team are highly skilled. Combine all of these things and you’ve got a strong business that’s ready to take on the world. We hope these tips help you give everything you need to succeed in 2019.