Is the sole reason we train our employees to get them up to speed with company polices and standard operation procedures? While that’s an important part of the process, training presents an opportunity to expand the knowledge base of all employees. From the new employee to the newly promoted superintendent, everyone on your team – and the team as a whole – benefits from continued training.
Finding time to conduct training can be an issue, particularly in the busy season. In the case when time isn’t available during regular hours, you may even need to pay overtime for weekend trainings or pull employees from the jobsite, neither of which are ideal. Despite the potential drawbacks, training and development provides both the company as a whole and the individual employees with benefits that are worth the time and cost.
Most employees have some performance areas that can be improved on. An active training program allows for the strengthening of those skills. By developing a comprehensive program for all employees, you can ensure that everyone on your team will have similar skills and knowledge, improving on areas where any given employee’s experience on the job is incomplete. Additionally, comprehensive training helps reduce injuries and accidents and allows all your employees to be compliant with company standard operation procedures. This in turn creates an overall knowledgeable employee pool with individuals that can be interchangeably utilized on the job.
Clearly, employees who receive all necessary training are better able to perform their job, but the training may also help build an employee’s confidence because they have a stronger understanding of the industry and the responsibilities of their job. In-service trainings and yearly trainings also keep your employees on the cutting edge of technological and industry developments. Employees who are competent, confident, and on top of changing industry standards help your company hold a position as a leader and strong competitor.
Having a structured training and development program ensures that employees have a consistent schedule of training. Consistency is particularly relevant for your company’s basic policies and procedures. This helps to build a company culture that puts an emphasis on employee safety and development.
People with regular access to training and development programs have a huge advantage over those who are left to seek out training opportunities on their own. The investment in training that a company makes shows the employees they are valued and creates a supportive workplace. Employees who feel appreciated and challenged through training opportunities may feel more satisfaction toward their jobs and tend to stick around longer than those who do not. Ultimately, an effective and comprehensive training program will lead to better employee retention.
Investing in your employees builds value in your company and a sense of self-worth in your employees, which in turn keeps them with you longer. Clearly, the value and return on a comprehensive training program has been proven to be priceless.
Mike Flowers is Director of Safety, Training and Education for National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA).