Success in companies of any size depends on having both long-term and short-term business strategies in place. The long-term strategy typically includes many growth objectives, which can only be achieved by ongoing investment in the company and its activities.
Investing in your business isn’t only a financial matter, either. It takes time, energy, and focus to pull it off, and it requires having your staff on board both figuratively and literally.
Getting ‘Em Up to Speed – At a Discount
[quotes]Most provincial governments in Canada and state governments the U.S. recognize the value of investing in staff training, and offer a range of financial incentives for companies to do so. [/quotes]
In Canada, an option such as the Canada Job Grant provides up to2/3rd of the per person for employee training costs, including tuition and materials, up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee, as long as the employer contributes one third of the total training costs. Each company is limited to a maximum total grant of $300,000. That means you can get $15,000 worth of training for an investment of $10,000 which could potentially underwrite most of the cost of a college certification in various fields.
In the U.S., funding for staff training and development can be obtained from federal, state, and local governments, although these are often industry-specific and awarded for the development of particular skills, such as technical research or financial management. A search on your state’s website can help you find opportunities, as well as on SBA.gov and Grants.gov.
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Benefits of Staff Training
[quotes]While your employees’ spirits may be willing, if they don’t have the right training to do what you need them to, much of your own investment could be wasted.[/quotes] This makes spending on adequate staff training a vital aspect of your business’ success.
Some of the benefits you can gain by doing so include:
- Being able to attract the right workers: Most people have dreams and ambitions that include a certain level of achievement, and to fulfil those intentions they look for jobs that enable them to grow and improve.
[quotesright]If you want the kind of employees who take ownership of challenges, work in your company’s interest, and make your success their priority, you need to offer growth opportunities to attract them. [/quotesright] Readiness to invest in employee development builds loyalty with your workers and boosts your reputation in your industry (and with your clients).
- Creating a pool of “promotable” workers: Who knows your business better: someone who has worked with you for years, or someone completely new? Sure, when a senior position opens up you need someone with the right skills to fill it, but wouldn’t you rather reward an employee who has delivered good work over the years and whom you can trust completely, than taking in a stranger whose capabilities are unknown? Of course you would, but only if they are able to do the job.
By implementing a sound succession planning strategy that includes staff development, you can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your various employees and create a pool of workers who are ready for promotion. When the time comes to fill a position, you’ll have workers with just the right level of skill available to step into it.
- Keeping employees engaged: When workers are bored they develop negative attitudes, poor work habits, and damaged relationships with colleagues and clients. Keeping them engaged with interesting training programs and the allure of future promotion can help prevent boredom from setting in, especially during slow periods.
- Saving you money: Confident, well-trained and engaged employees deliver better results for you in the long term. [quotesright]As they become more proficient, employees can drive increased sales and output. [/quotesright] This makes your spending on training an investment instead of an expense, while simultaneously helping you get more from your employees.
They say that having a good employee is like having money in the bank. We disagree – it’s better, because the one can bring you more of the other.
- Looking to the future: The long-term survival of a business requires you to plan who is going to take over when your current owners or managers are ready to retire. That’s more achievable with a sound employee development program.
Whether the people you earmark for succession are family members, long-term employees, or simply capable recent recruits, you’ll want to know the type of leadership potential they offer, and how well they’ll work with your customers and other staff.
Much of this intelligence depends on the direction your industry takes, the changes you might make to your product or service offerings, and future technological developments.
Implementing an effective employee training and development plan compels you to consider both the present and the future of your business. Any spending you do to execute the plan is a worthwhile investment in the future of the company, and if you plan to retain a share after retirement then you’re funding your own account, too.
Now you know why investing in employee training is in the end, supporting your family which is the whole point of running a business, isn’t it?
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