Competitive advantage through training – Fact or Fiction?

Has your organization seen the direct correlation between the training of employees and profitability?

If you know, but aren’t sure why, or what to do about it, then pull up a chair. Overlooking this potential revenue buster can be detrimental to your business health.

The benefits of Training

The astute business owner will always recognize that investment in the development of personnel skills through training will lead to improved efficiency and productivity of the company. There are a few things to be considered when the time comes to take a serious look at your competitive strategies. Maybe you’re not on the cutting edge as much as you once were, or you are simply looking at ways to becoming an employer of choice. Regardless of current motivation, and they’re all valid, many organizations tend to neglect the ongoing training that is needed if your people are to be at the top of their game.

So what are we saying here? Simply, corporate advantage can realistically be broken down into a couple of key essentials. Your people and, you guessed it, you.

Corporate learning and development is more than about hitting targets and making those all-important numbers sing. Your staff are a direct mirror of who you are as an organization. They represent your company when you cannot. Every one of your competitors is getting smarter and faster at recognizing all your weaknesses so it stands to reason that when your people know more, they will do more. They will share knowledge, and the collaborative effect will be fluid. An organization that recognizes this will have the advantage. The confidence gained through training strategies is invaluable, and will shine through in staff that believe they are the best in the business.

So how do you see training now? Still a waste of time? Still have better things to do?

Hopefully, you are no longer of this persuasion because you may find your organization left behind to breathe in everyone else’s exhaust fumes.

Tools for your Trade

Ok, so you’ve decided to take training and it advantages seriously, so what next?

If you consider yourself a high-performing organization, then you need to understand what is required to have a structured approach to training. Maintaining a skills calendar will assist greatly with what can be a need, compliance-wise, or want simply to ensure your business is on the right track. Look into software that allows for a skills and competencies matrix.

A future-proof tool that gives you a structure for training success should include the following. Online registration for a training course. Many courses are provided online in today’s world simply due to geographic limitations and basic convenience. A web interface enabled solution will no longer exclude certain people from accessing training due to where they are in your organization, or where they are globally.

Assessments and Evaluations

Both the participant and the assessor can evaluate the training they have received. For the assessor, the benefits can be many. Awarding participants is one, and also offering follow-up questing is another way to keep learned knowledge foremost in the workers mind.

Compliance is sometimes a critical must-have for an organization to even consider a training program. Always source your solution that complies with various international regulations and standards: ISO 9001, FDA, ISO 17025, GxP and more.

An answer is not far away

You will need to adopt centralized management for all your training needs and that’s exactly what you will get when partnering with an intuitive software provider.

Naturally, ease of use is a bonus. What’s the point of having a system with all the functionality you require only to have it frustrate users to the point of being unusable? Speaking of usability, be sure to introduce a system that can grow with you. Growing means having a companywide overview, with a strong search function, and the ability to share the data. Imagine being able to see at a glance the course name, location, trainer, participant, and areas for future comment. Your workflows will be smoother, and less cumbersome from the experience.

The days of antiquated and even paper-based (yes, they do exist) approaches are over, and long may they reign.

Game Over

So, what’s the end game?

Competitive advantage is defined as a condition or circumstance that puts an organization in a superior position. Given this not-so-new revelation, the business world is now a global market with the potential for your competitors to throw their arrows from all continents. If organizations fail to see the benefit of current and ongoing training, not only for staff education and overall talent retention but also for the future of the business, then they run the risk of not having enough of a shield for sustained defense and ultimate victory.