We’ve all been there. You show up at a new job and begin a weeks-long period of training. You’re instructed about company ethics and culture, internal processes, how to use various tools to do your job, and so on. Eventually, you “graduate” and step out of the educating limelight to begin the process of integrating into the larger employee body of the company.
This is typically what people have in mind when they hear the term “employee training.” It’s the learning curve that begins when you start at a company and ends a few short weeks later. As any savvy professional knows, though, the learning should never really stop there.
Why Ongoing Training Is Essential
Leadership shouldn’t just be focused on onboarding new employees properly. They must also think about how to find long-term, sustained success. In other words, leaders must learn to view employee training as more than just an initiating process.
If you’re an employer, a boss, or a project manager, here are a few of the most important reasons that employee training should remain an ongoing priority for your entire team.
Ongoing Training Encourages Employee Retention
When asked, 54% of employees claimed they stayed at a job not just for a long time, but for longer than was in their best interest. They had done so simply because they had a strong sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves, to a caring community, not just a salary-generating machine. This emphasizes the concept that when an employee feels invested in their work and when they feel that they’re valued as part of a larger organization, they will deliver greater contributions in both the short- and the long-term.
Of course, providing avenues for existing employees to further develop their current skill sets is a valuable way to provide that sense of belonging. Talent management, that is the process of hiring, developing, and retaining the best employees, critically revolves around allowing professionals to learn and grow while they’re on the job. As they do so, they naturally become more committed both to their work and to their employer as a source of professional growth and satisfaction.
Ongoing Training Fosters a Positive Company Culture
Maintaining positive, focused company culture is a critical objective for many modern businesses, and with good reason, too. Company culture is at least relatively important to 88% of job seekers, with nearly one in two claiming that it is “very important” in their employment decision.
One essential aspect of good company culture is the ability for both individuals and an organization as a whole to develop over time. Concepts like maintaining a growth mindset and an attitude of continuous learning are important bastions of a good culture, as they encourage the individuals within a company to always learn, develop, innovate, and so on.
Ongoing Training Keeps You on the Cutting Edge
Finally, there’s the simple-yet-crucial fact that ongoing training allows you to remain at the forefront of your industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a massive e-commerce site, providing a service to a small local community, or anything in between, you always want to be looking for important changes within your industry.
As updates and shifting markets evolve the way of doing business, ongoing employee training allows you to keep your staff up to date and prepared to take advantage of the latest and the best advancements available.
Tips to Maintain Ongoing Training
While ongoing training is important, that doesn’t mean it’s simple. Many factors go into maintaining a continuous learning environment. Here are a few tips to help you launch and then sustain ongoing education in your company:
- Select a format that works for your team: Even with coronavirus keeping things remote, you should consider factors like if you’ll use print or digital materials as your team trains virtually.
- Always look for training third-party opportunities: From remote-friendly online courses to in-person workshops, leaders should always be on the lookout for training options for their staff.
- Utilize the various tools available: From assistive technologies for the deaf and hard of hearing to Mimeo’s own online training solutions, there are many tools that you can implement into your training activities to make them more effective.
- Assign prework: You can dramatically improve your learning environment if you take the time to prep your employees beforehand with a little prework.
By taking the time to organize your training toolkit now, you can ensure greater success as your company implements ongoing training in the future.
Ongoing Employee Training as a Way of Business
From retention to company culture and industry leadership, there are multiple reasons to keep your staff well-trained at all times. Everything from employee satisfaction and company reputation to your bottom line will feel the positive impact.
The critical piece of the puzzle is for upper management to recognize the necessity of investing in ongoing training in the first place. If leadership can do that, an organization will be able to benefit from its powerful effects far into the future.
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer and Mimeo contributor residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity, employee training and retention, and company culture. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.