Invest in staff development now for skills needed in recovery from recession
Many businesses have understandably been so focused on reducing costs, limiting the numbers of redundancies and surviving the recession that they have been unable to focus on staff development.
There is a sad inevitability that many organisations look to save costs by slashing their learning & development budget, but it is dangerous to view the continued development of your people as a cost. The truth is that training is more imperative in a recession than when things are stable. Your employees are your long-term competitive advantage-especially in tough economic times, and organisations that fail to continue to invest in their people and processes will jeopardize their very own survival.
As we recover from recession, training and development can help refocus and reenergize your staff at a time when their commitment and engagement are critical. An analysis, conducted by the Centre for Business Performance at Cranfield, found a clear link between good management and improved business performance, in spite of the challenging economic context and the wider impact of recession on business success.
The study which combined case studies, a survey of over 400 employers and analysis of financial performance information found investing in staff development increases profitability by enhancing managerial skills, knowledge and experience, improving the effectiveness of practices and increasing the performance of employees.
Taylor Hobson is a high precision technology company in Leicester. During 2009, the company were forced to make over half the company redundant, leaving their scarce team demotivated and disillusioned. The company needed to up skill the workforce and improve their competitive advantage by refocusing the staff on putting the customer central to the business. Budgets were tight but they were able to access funding to support a bespoke blended training solution with classroom sessions and individual job coaching. The results have been measurable, with a noticeable change in staff behaviour, focus and efficiency.
So what can be done to mitigate against losing talented employees and develop your organisations skills on a shoe string budget?
- Get all the funding available to you
- Negotiate with training providers to get extra training and discounts, often they are able to add in extras
- Use providers who come to you and will deliver training that fits in with your business needs, that way there will be no disruption
- 1:1 coaching and follow up sessions can add real value to training and can deal with and correct individual behaviours and bad habits.
- Check what training you have to do by law
- Chose a provider that will design and deliver bespoke training, that way the training will fit the needs of your business
- Get the whole team involved to make real changes and benefit the entire workforce
- Don’t forget the management- leadership development is key to success
- Consider getting an apprentice
- Use online and distance learning- it’s cheap and effective!