Offering employee training is more important than ever, especially to millennials, who will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025. Indeed, 90% of them want to advance their careers within their current company, which is why training is one of the most effective ways to create a millennial-friendly office. It allows ambitious employees to learn new skills which boost performance and help advance their careers, with businesses who invest in training programmes reporting a 24% higher profit margin than those that don’t.
In spite of this huge payoff, many businesses still neglect to offer training, due to the time it would take and the financial burden of organising it. Statistics show that two out of three workers have actually changed jobs due to a lack of training opportunities.
Considering the evident benefits for both employees and employers, your own business is far more likely to thrive if you offer long-term training schemes. But what kind of training—and how much—should you offer your staff if you want it to have a real impact?
Technical skills training
If you had to choose between seeing a doctor who was up-to-date with their medical training, or one who hadn’t received any in years, the decision would be a no-brainer. Workers must be up to speed with the latest developments in their field, or they risk falling behind. Additionally, certain staff members may have weak areas within their job roles which they need to work on, and this is where technical training comes in.
As a quarter of workers report a mismatch between the skills they have and those needed to do their jobs, a frequent focus on technical skills is essential. Ideally, employees should receive monthly bitesize training sessions to refresh their knowledge and iron out any issues. These should be supported with at least one additional, intensive training course a year. Of course, this is no exact science, and you may need to immediately bring forward training sessions in certain situations. This could be because of a skills gap, or to improve specific performance, as well as when your employees need to meet new compliance regulations.
Products and services knowledge training
Employees must have an in-depth knowledge of their employer’s products or services, especially those in sales. This enables them to communicate more effectively and confidently with customers while appearing trustworthy and competent. As such, relevant training is crucial for ensuring that staff are well-informed on newly released products, services, or features. Statistics show that this can improve a business’s bottom line, with every hour spent on product training boosting sales by 5%.
As with technical skills training, these sessions should be regular enough for employees to feel in the loop regarding changes to your company’s products or services. It is also useful to provide sessions which focus on existing products and services to refresh your worker’s knowledge. As Training Industry magazine notes: “If sales professionals aren’t selling one particular product every day, they will need reminders on what the products are and what customer problems they solve.”
Soft skills training
Soft skills may be non-technical, but that doesn’t stop them from being invaluable, including attributes like communication, time management, problem-solving, and conflict resolution. These can help employees attract and retain clients, forge stronger relationships with colleagues, and improve decision-making.
According to research from LinkedIn, 75% of long-term job success comes down to soft skills capabilities. Yet, in the same study, it’s reported that only one in four companies report employee satisfaction with the training offered to improve it.
When it comes to how regular soft skills training should be, research shows that the number of sessions doesn’t determine their overall effectiveness. As a result, regular training sessions are not as essential as other types more specific to a particular role and industry.