It’s easy to assume that training is a one-way street in terms of benefits bestowed – that, whilst the trainee is gifted with the skills required to further their career, the organisation providing the training merely gains an employee with the skill set needed to do their job. But the rewards and insights that staff development can bring run much deeper than that, particularly in the current building services sector landscape, explains David Cadogan, Consultant, Workforce-Development-Advice.
A skilled workforce is a motivated and productive workforce
The recession and budget cuts have had a big impact on the buildings services industry. Staff are increasingly finding themselves working in more challenging circumstances and often on their own. That’s why, in today’s economic climate, it’s more important than ever that staff feel motivated and productive.
The key to ensuring that sense of motivation and productivity is nurturing talent and improving staff performance. This will, in turn, maximise an organisation’s ability to be as effective as it can be in achieving its goals. But, whilst the most successful businesses are those with a long-term focus on employee development, they won’t have one single approach to talent management – rather, they will have multiple approaches in place to unlock people power in the workplace, each one developed to suit different individual talent requirements.
In recent years, talent management has become a priority for organisations worldwide due to a shortage in skilled staff, particularly managers. Talent management strategies facilitate the development of both individuals and organisations by identifying employees with talent and ensuring that they receive the support they require.
A significant number of employers also thought that new skills were needed in response to changing legislation, as well as the leadership and management skills needed to deliver them. The greatest motivation for investing in learning and development was empowering staff and looking to narrow skills gaps.
But a workforce optimised by effective and appropriate training and development is only half the story.
‘The best way to learn is to teach.” – Frank Oppenheimer.
Before you can effectively teach your staff, you have to take a step back, observe, audit and define the knowledge that needs to be taught. And this process in itself can teach you things about your business that you might never have discovered without effective development and training programmes in place.
An effective talent management strategy will incorporate a training plan that will also gather a good understanding of what knowledge, skills and abilities will be needed in the future. This involves an alignment with the long-term goals of the organisation and an assessment of the implications of those goals for employee development, which is why training needs analyses have been identified as playing an essential role in any organisation’s development, as well as being an integral part of both talent management and succession planning strategies.
Training providers, such as Workforce-Development-Advice , are making a concerted investment in developing programmes with genuine, measurable and accredited value to both employers and employees. Part of that development has involved squaring the circle of creating recognised, accredited programmes that can be integrated into an operational business environment. Historically this has involved compromise either at the delivery end with training being somewhat content-light, or at the business operations end where companies have had to sacrifice more working hours than is ideal for their workforce to attain qualifications. Not anymore.
An example of a training option that offers great flexibility is WDA's workshop - Carrying out a strategic review of organisational skills. This programme is taught online and has been specifically developed so that experienced professionals with no formal qualifications can access the learning in the workshop and make meaningful decisions based on learning from it.
The point being that in-work training and development has evolved – it now offers in-depth, accredited knowledge to dedicated employees of companies that are serious about their future success. Training is vital for any company; the challenge for staff is to stay up to date with new legislative and technological changes in order to do the job well.
Success and succession
There are many reasons why succession planning is an important business activity. It enables organisations to understand trends and pinpoint where poor retention and high-risk departures will have an adverse effect on business performance.
A robust succession planning tool will also address skills gaps amongst existing employees, support the business going through change and be able to respond to emergency situations or threats in an effective manner.
But just consider the alternative – failing to keep your workforce trained and letting your customers down – as Lambeth Council recently discovered to its cost when it was fined £1,335 after some of their staff failed to receive adequate training. If your staff have the skills to understand the difference, you can save on costly incidents such as this and, more than that, you can reap the rewards of continued growth and success.
For further information on workshops or require a more focused consultancy visit, looking at skills and training within your organisation, call 078979 250772 or email firstname.lastname@example.org