46 per cent. This is the increase in productivity that small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) can achieve through training, according to a two-year study conducted by Les Affaires and the digital interest group CEFRIO. It’s clear that investing in your human capital through corporate training is a key lever to long-term success.
When you don’t help develop your people, and they continue to do what they’ve always done, your organization will continue to get the exact same results. Today’s competitive business space requires that you do not maintain the status quo, because in order to grow you must continually evolve and improve!
“Feed your body, yes, but do not forget to feed your mind and intellect.” – Fares Chmait
Continuing education and professional development through training and coaching is a solution to many of the ailments plaguing employees and employers. But choosing training programs should not be random! First, you must clarify the issues and objectives, so that you can measure the outcomes (measure the retention and application of learning tools) and also the resulting progress in the organization.
Training has benefits for employees of all kinds:
Individuals (or the self-employed): If you engage in professional training, you will be able to refine your ‘personal brand’ as well as acquire new knowledge and skills.
Employers: When you offer corporate training to your employees, you not only increase the efficiency of your work teams but also make yourself a more desirable employer.
Companies: In business, investing in your people through training helps you strengthen the organization versus the competition and gives your people the tools and knowledge needed for growth.
Survive or succeed? The impact of ongoing training
Early in my career my ego made me believe I knew everything, but I soon realized that there was an ocean of knowledge out there still to discover.
You have a very important choice to make in life: To survive (stagnate) or to succeed (evolve). In fact people are evolving beings (otherwise we would still be using horses to get around). In life we are forever an unfinished work of art. We must constantly develop and hone ourselves in order to grow and stand out. If we do this, then we won’t get stuck in habits that hinder our chances of success.
If we don’t evolve, then we risk self-sabotage, discouragement and failure.
Which do you want to be? A winner who evolves or someone who is stagnated? Your attitude will dictate your success — your desire to learn, discover, excel (and, for some, their desire to surpass others). In powerful people attitude is visceral; they choose to pursue training in order to have a head start on others and be the best in their field.
Clearly, education is central to continuous improvement and success.
Building on work motivation
Except for in very rare jobs, no one is paid — or pays others — to work. We are paid for a single thing: our ability to deliver results. Whether you are a business owner, manager, employee or self-employed, someone is investing in you because they believe you can deliver. And if you perform well, then there is a good return on investment.
Similarly, a company needs to invest in its human resources if it wants to sustain long-term business growth, excel over its competition, and prevent stagnation!
For any company, the employee is an added value. If you maximize their value through a corporate training program then you can increase people’s motivation to work and thereby increase productivity and performance.
In addition, corporate training enables:
- Increased sense of personal accomplishment and commitment
- Increased retention of the best people resources
- Engaged employees
- Improved teamwork
- A demonstration of the company’s confidence in its employees (“I invested in you because I believe in you”)
- Improved closing ratios among sales force
We see an even more powerful return on investment when sales forces participate in training programs. Our organization offers programs on negotiation, networking and sales techniques – and those who have participated in these courses report they were able to more than double their closing ratio using the techniques they learned. With this kind of impact you can immediately appreciate the value of training.
The increased profitability generated by having more efficient and motivated managers and executives is just as exciting. Think about it: if all the members of your company can better negotiate and sell, your competitive advantage will strengthen significantly.
Don’t let training befall the budget axe
When operating budgets are tight, training can be assigned to the ‘less necessary’ column. But it’s shortsighted to cut staff development programs when they have such a tangible positive impact on the bottom line via productivity and increased performance and competitiveness.
In Québec there is a law requiring all companies whose payroll exceeds $ 1 million to invest 1% of this amount in employee training, otherwise they have to pay the equivalent amount to Revenu Québec. So why squander this precious budget or spend it in the wrong place when you could invest to increase employee productivity, motivation level and skills? Imagine the impact on their and the company’s performance!
We can only change what we observe. If you can assess your company’s needs, shortcomings and missed opportunities, you can then design a training program or hire an experienced trainer to help address the issues and define goals.