Organisational Culture and the Value of Training
Training is vital to any business looking to retain staff and retain the competitive advantage. Developing and improving skills makes employees more valuable to your business. An American study found that a 10% increase in the educational level of staff resulted in an 8.6% increase in productivity whilst a comparable investment in plant and equipment resulted in a 3.4% increase in productivity. ( Thomas Stewart cited in Management Theory and Practice;Kole, K 2010). The best measure of the value of training can be found in indicators such as increased employee job satisfaction, increased staff retention, decrease in absenteeism and a decrease in accidents and injuries. Businesses with a reputation of providing training are able to attract and retain quality staff.
Training can help people work together better and show them how to do their jobs more efficiently and more safely. It reduces the time it takes employees to adjust and adapt to a new work environment, minimises customer complaints, reduces accidents and contributes to your business brand value.
Training existing workers is a must to meet the strategic needs of your business and when combined with a learning culture can greatly strengthen your business.
So what is a learning culture?
Every business has an organisational culture; a set of often unspoken values and rules that govern how the business operates and responds to the world around it. For example a great set of policies and procedures for safety doesn’t mean much if the Managing Director ignores the policies doesn’t take safety seriously and in general, demonstrates by their actions a lack of interest and commitment to a safe working environment.
A learning culture in your business can mean making sure that suggestions by customers and staff are acted on; that staff have the opportunity to change jobs within the company (to be multi-skilled) or be promoted from within the company and that training opportunities are provided to build on their existing skills.
If we encourage a learning culture within our business, one where individuals are continually learning and transfer this learning through the organisation, then the business itself continues to grow and improve. In essence it is the development of Human Capital that is our main asset in business today. Each individual in your business has the potential to provide solutions, attract and retain customers and make a powerful difference to your business provided you invest in their training.
Further Reading: Management Theory and Practice: Kris Kole 2010 4th Edition