Education is a lifelong skill and should be everyone’s goal.
As we send our children off to school for another year, we should also stop and think about our own lifelong learning goals. Its not just the youngest that need to learn something new, it’s all of us. When it comes to our careers, there is always a new area where we can improve our knowledge.
So why do companies not prioritize training when there are so many benefits?
Training, in any form, will improve:
- Employee competence
- Employee satisfaction
- Employee performance
- Customer satisfaction
- Production performance
Possibly because they think of training as composed of a rigid structure, where students sit straight in their desks, listening diligently to the instructor.
But education and training must evolve. Training is a tool that can help propel a company into its future, rather than a budget line of expense that is holding back the company’s profits.
There are many different forms that training and education can take:
- The traditional classroom style of training – this still has a use in today’s companies and shouldn’t be forgotten.
- E-learning – the pandemic has accelerated many companies’ use and familiarity with the delivery of on-line learning, whether it is a live delivery over web conference platform or full e-learning, which is self paced. This allows for more flexibility in delivery and reaching many more employees, without them having to travel. Travel is costly and takes time.
- On the Job learning – courses are theoretical, practical learning has important value to ensure that employees learn to implement that theory. This is a common practice in the trades and apprenticeships. This can also be valuable in many more positions; it just sometimes requires some creativity in defining an effective way to apply it.
- Practical exercises – sometimes these can be difficult and time consuming to organize. There are other options that can be used as well, such as tabletop exercises. These review scenarios with employees, without utilizing actual equipment or interrupting operations.
- Meetings – training doesn’t have to be called training. Training is defined as the action of teaching oneself or others a particular skill or knowledge. Meetings are great opportunities to review incidents or complaints and the lessons learned, and to provide updates to new requirements or other changes in the workplace.
- Communication Boards – These are not always the most effective method of communicating, but if the board is well maintained and organized it can be a reliable source. This can be extended to a virtual board, such as an internal internet page.
Our brains are amazing. They always have room to take in more information and learn new ways to do things. Organizations can tap into the collective brains of their employees and use training activities to add to the collective capabilities. The more we learn, the more we can accomplish.