Dangers of training and developing your staff

There is no real need to go into lengthy explanations about the definition of a training budget and why we need one, but it is a good idea to look at the benefits and dangers of training our key people and the costs of not training them.

What if we train our staff and they leave?  Yes, but what if you don’t train them and they stay?

Many medium to large organisations invest anywhere from 2 to 5% of a team member’s salary on training and development. While that may not be realistic for a small business, it is important to find a training budget per team member your business can afford.

Training staff can bring numerous benefits to a business, including:

  • Improved skills and knowledge
  • Increased employee satisfaction
  • Enhanced employee retention 
  • Better performance
  • Adaptability
  • Improved customer satisfaction 
  • Cost savings due to increased productivity
  • Up to date skilled employees give you a competitive advantage in the market

Overall, training staff can lead to a more skilled, engaged, and productive workforce, which can ultimately benefit the business in so many ways.

There can also be some dangers of training your staff too and this is why many organisations can often view training as a waste of time, resources and money.

  • The wrong type of development – replying on irrelevant training to fix performance issues.
  • Cost – investing in the wrong training without assessing needs that are aligned to the organisational needs isjust a waste of time and money.
  • The right topic but the wrong training– Leadership or Public Speaking 101 will not help develop more senior or experienced professionals, customise all training to meet the specific needs of the team member and the organisational outcomes.
  • No due diligence on training provider – DO NOT choose the cheapest or easiest provider. Do your due diligence and get HR or whoever is booking the training provider to do the due diligence and ensure your chosen expert/provider/consultant is experienced, qualified and prepared to contextualise the development programme to meet your organisational needs.
  • Staff resistance– Framing training as punishment or used for addressing performance issues instead of communicating that you are investing in their development for future opportunities will cause resistance instead of excitement.
  • Investing in technical skills only– Critical skills for today’s modern organisation include what was once considered ‘soft skills’. High level communication skills, leadership, maintaining healthy relationships, influence, presenting, critical thinking are just some of those skills that need developing too. Technical skills will only get a team member so far.
  • It’s rushed– Can we have these 27 outcomes achieved in 3 hours please Paula? Oh yes, I get it all the time.  3 hours can still be valuable for a few tips, but sustainable and high impact change needs a well thought out strategy and time.
  • No effective evaluation strategy – And no, those feedback forms at the end of a training day rarely provide any useful information and only provide a level 1 evaluation.

To mitigate these risks, it’s important to carefully plan and design training and development programmes (including coaching and consulting)  to ensure they are effective and address specific needs, communicate the benefits of training to employees to encourage buy-in, and evaluate the impact of training to ensure it is delivering the desired results. And you also want to encourage ‘Heutagogy’ thinking. Stay tuned for another blog on the definition of and the value of heutagogy.

If you don’t invest in the training and development of your team, you’ll end up with a team and an organisation that is no longer relevant in today’s fast and every changing competitive business environment