Back to school: Why re-investing in employee training is good business

Back to school: Why re-investing in employee training is good business

IT is an ever-evolving discipline. It’s a wonder to think that, in the mid ’90s, only a rare few visionaries could have ever imagined a world where nearly everyone could have a computer that literally fits in the palm of their hands. Now, we have robots in manufacturing environments, self driving trucks for long hauls, drones for “last-mile” deliveries, and increasingly natural-sounding voice bots in call centres.

As bleak as these may sound to humans, they do not mean the complete loss of job opportunities. To illustrate, automobiles made coachmen unnecessary, but the new tech opened up new avenues for value creation in the economy, such as faster transportation of people and goods across longer distances. In the same manner, managers and staff members alike must move away from complacency and instead move towards adapting to the times. This can be achieved by providing training to your personnel.

Train staff members so that their existing skills are updated and expanded upon

On-the-job learning does not have to be limited to internship programs and probationary periods. Rather, it can be an ongoing process where staff members are taught new techniques brought about by new technologies. It can be as simple as letting writers know about voice typing and showing accountants how to take full advantage of Excel’s intelligent features, or it can be as involved as teaching non-digital native marketers inbound marketing.

Horizontal career movement

Updated skills make workers more efficient and effective at what they do, while entirely new skills can make them flexible enough to shift toward new roles. By giving employees avenues to grow professionally, you have the added benefit of reducing employee turnover. Losing good workers often means having to spend time and money spent on searching, screening, and onboarding new hires, so retain staff by keeping things fresh in the workplace.

Vertical career movement

Adding to people’s skills inventories enables them to handle more responsibilities, which then makes them eligible to hold higher positions within the company. Consider implementing a protocol where managers must train their successors before they themselves can move up the corporate ladder. The prospect of a promotion instills drive in those with ambition, while the practice of filling higher-tier positions with people from outside the team can be very demotivating and make members look for other firms with better opportunities for career growth.

Instill soft skills to benefit the entire organization

Also known as interpersonal skills, soft skills center around communicating and working well with other people. These are important for collaboration and synergy — the ability for a team to produce more than what its members can achieve on their own.

Among oft-mentioned soft skills are:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Problem-solving
  • Presentation skills
  • Time management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership and management
  • Business etiquette
  • Communication skills

In fact, soft skills are often cited as critical to the potential success of a technologically proficient employee, with one study finding that 94% of recruiters believe stronger soft skills are more likely to lead to promotions to leadership positions.

Help people become more aware of cybersecurity concerns

People with initiative will tend to try to solve things on their own. For example, they might try out a free plugin to solve a problem — then unknowingly create new issues because the plugin was actually designed to infect machines with ransomware. Unfortunately, employees are by far the biggest cybersecurity vulnerability that companies have.

Further reading: The risk within: Why you should be offering cybersecurity awareness training for employees

Providing employees with cybersecurity training will not only help prevent data breaches that can lead to ransom payments, lost productivity, lost customer trust, lawsuits, and legal penalties, but it will also show employees that you care for their personal online well being as well. Take the opportunity to show or even test for tactics like phishing links and CEO fraud, and how to spot a web site that has been spoofed.

New technologies disrupt industries at an accelerating rate, and only the businesses that can change with the times can hope to thrive. Continual employee training is therefore crucial to your success because it allows you to adapt, keeping your organization productive, safe, competitive, and valuable to the economy.

For assistance on establishing a cybersecurity training program or for help in transitioning to new technologies, consult with our experts at XBASE Technologies. Let our Exponentially Better™ IT resources augment yours so that you’re primed to achieve your goals and change course when industry disruptions occur.

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