The first two decades of our lives are dedicated to learning. At first, we learn the basics: how to walk, how to eat, and how to use the toilet. Then we learn maths, and how to drive a car, and how to do a job. Around the age of 23, though, institutionalised learning comes to an abrupt end. Something that was a structured and expected part of the human experience is no longer required.
To succeed in business, as well as in life, requires constant growth. A well-educated employee is an asset to a business. By understanding technology and market trends, they can help you boost your business and put you ahead of the competition.
In an era where the average employee stays with a company for about 3-4 years, and job hopping is a part of life, some businesses question why they should bother educating someone who is invariably going to leave.
We need repetition and reinforcement
Learning a new skill, for most people, is fairly easy. Retaining that skill, without practice, is nearly impossible. For example, according to CEB research, without reinforcement, sales professionals lose 87% of their training in just a month.
It’s easy to invest in distributing information as a once-off, but it’s essential to provide ongoing support to reinforce the lessons. Education is about more than the required monthly training sessions, but spending time building a program that challenges your team to be better, and provides the tools to achieve those expectations.
Engaging with your staff makes them better at their jobs. You’re not only going to improve their productivity but also the quality of their work. That will build a sense of loyalty that will pay significant dividends.
Teaching people new skills, or giving them a refresher course, is a great way to bring a fresh perspective on existing problems. Think of all the times that you came up with a solution for one problem while working on something else entirely.
Talking about why start-ups should continually educate their staff, Jose Vasquez notes, “Learning new information is the best way to get new ideas how to expand or refocus your business. Some of the greatest innovators in the world got to where they are because they are constantly reading and learning new things.” These are behaviours that we can nurture, and that will pay off for the business.
Empowering employees can lower costs
We all love management, but having a smart and engaged workforce who aren’t just told the rules but help shape them can limit your instances of liability and, in turn, the need for complex management and organisational structures.
Without reducing people to a dollar sign, an engaged workforce is more likely to stay in place. Even if you factor the costs of promotion, educating is significantly cheaper than hiring and firing.
The recruitment game is rife with turnover. At Interpro, we attract and retain the best people for a variety of industry segments and keep them by offering a variety of ways for our consultants to improve their knowledge in their fields, including weekly master-class workshops. We want our teams to become leaders. Learn more about our training programs here.
This is not to brag; rather to impart the importance of developing your staff for a meaningful, lasting relationship. We practice what we preach, which has resulted in consultants who know their field and can help their clients make the best-possible connections.
Where do you start educating? Start small, and fun. Bring in a trainer to offer a class on public speaking or improving memory. Build those lessons in to the way managers interact, to reinforce the message. When asking for feedback, ask what else people would like to learn, and poll management to find areas that need improvement.
Providing ongoing education is not easy, and will take some time to become institutional, however, once it is up-and-running, it’ll provide significant dividends.
Have you set up a training programme for your employees? Have you taken courses through your employer? What worked? What did you like? Share your stories in the comments.