Don’t leave your staff behind the times – why it’s good to invest in on-the-job training
We’ve all heard of on-the-job training but one communications technology firm took it a whole step further. American giant AT&T was faced with the challenge of re-inventing itself as its industry moved from phone cables to the internet and the cloud. It decided to retrain its huge cadre of long-standing current employees rather than simply hiring-in tech savvy millennials.
It’s a brilliant, albeit immense, example of on-the-job training. It is also a salutary reminder that businesses ignore at their peril the vital development of their employees’ skills. According to a recent Labour Force Survey (Feb 2017) only 14% of UK employees were receiving ‘job-related training’ during a snapshot of the last three months of 2016.
Employers should choose to develop the skills of their staff for two important reasons which include:
- To match a change in the business – it could be that the technology used has changed (eg. vehicle operation, machinery or processes) or that its client/service focus has changed
- For the employees’ own development – this could be directly work-related and in order to update the worker’s skills or for the employee’s own promotional prospects within the company.
For office based jobs, skills development is often in the area of IT or interpersonal skills. Other companies offer sector-specific training, for example the construction industry might offer a construction-related qualification and/or skills card or certificate. Some young workers are rejecting the high cost of a university education and are attracted to combining an apprenticeship with good on-the-job training.
Larger firms are able to offer in-house training but smaller firms too can buy-in trainers, send employees to external providers or even explore e-learning options. In addition to industry-specific training, generic workplace skills which we all need to be on top of include:
- Managing your workload
- Time management
- Project management
- Communicating with the public
- Learning when and how to be assertive
- Forward planning
As an employer, there are many benefits of offering your staff some form of training and development – these include:
- Keeping your workforce up to date
- Contributing to the employee’s own development
- Retention of good staff
- Being attractive to candidates during recruitment
- Engendering a sense of well-being, loyalty and progress in your staff
On-the-job training is not only good for your employees but it should be an important part of your long-term investment and growth strategy. Some organisations may question the time, money and ROI for providing learning and development but the benefits do outweigh the costs. Companies which fail to develop their staff could be damaging not only morale, but ultimately their own bottom line.
With Chronologic’s Workforce management solution, alongside time & attendance and scheduling you have the ability to store and manage HR related information such as employee training information. Alerts and workflows can be set up to ensure, for example, that training happens when it should.