The Importance of Employee Training and Development

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 30, 2022

Published November 5, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Companies recognize the importance of employee training and development, as advancing technology emphasizes a higher level of expertise and more proficient core skills across industries. The rapid integration and development of new technology and quality education requires companies to either hire replacements or implement regular training programs for employees to adapt to new technology. Understanding how to develop and assess competencies and new skills helps employees stay up to date with changes. In this article, we discuss the benefits of employee development, how employee training and development works, what makes employee development necessary, and how to create a development program.

Related: Developing Proficient Organizational Skills

Benefits of employee training and development

Employee training and development is a more efficient investment option than re-hiring more skilled teams when the industry changes and demands more from their workers. Advanced technology and business practices eventually improve standards and require the next generation of workers to understand new innovations. Here are a few of the top reasons employee skill development is a priority for companies:

Enhances job satisfaction

Creating infrastructure where leadership regularly assesses and presents employees with opportunities to learn and develop skills teaches employees to invest in the company's goals. Companies make it easier for employees to learn new skills and apply the company's values by providing them with an accessible education plan. Employee retention is a good measure of how effective training strategies are.

Keeps companies competitive

Cultivate an environment that motivates employees to learn new skills and update their knowledge about equipment, procedures, and technology. Competitive companies consistently search for new ways to enhance productivity and develop a better quality product to attract new clients or customers. Have a system of integrating new practices to allow employees to grasp new strategies and apply new knowledge before competitors can. Being a competitive company has the advantage of being able to upgrade new products or service innovations, stimulate collaboration and productivity among employees, and enhance quality of service.

Diversifies skills

As work teams continue to include more diverse groups of people from all different ages and backgrounds and skill levels, leaders expect a lot more from their teams. Employers invest more in the longevity of workers because of the increasing age of retirement, multiculturalism, and inclusive hiring standards. With more qualified candidates to choose from, companies rely on those that possess a wide range of skills.

Encourages collaboration

Companies introduce new digital products and equipment into the workplace to assist workers and enhance productivity. Elevating skill sets and rewarding additional learning of new technology and machinery leads to self-regulation of personal development for existing workers. Encourage feedback from employees and communicate with each department directly.

Related: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Ways to develop employee skills

Employee skill development is a term that refers to the various ways that businesses and companies assess and apply training methods to ensure that workers meet the minimum requirement of knowledge and skill to complete assigned tasks. Recruiters find the most qualified and skilled candidates for a position so that once they hire the candidate, they take part in a brief training program. Some companies use a combination of computer-based paid programs that end with an examination and gradual experience on the job. Here are some examples of training programs for recently hired team members:

  • eLearning: Most companies use an eLearning platform to get new recruits familiar with what to expect for assigned tasks, how to handle various situations, and how to use databases and company resources. Some of these programs involve testing recruits at the end of the modules before moving on to the next stage.

  • Shadow shifts: Shadowing, or instructor-led practice, gives recruits a chance to get hands-on experience completing tasks in the workplace with active tips and feedback from a leader.

  • Lectures**:** Use lectures as training a method when there are multiple newly hired team members. Classes can take part during the first half of the day, while the other half is on-site training, where recruits can apply what they learned in class.

  • Roleplay: Roleplaying is a strategy for skill development that gives recruits a chance to gain experience dealing with hypothetical situations. Customer service jobs often use roleplaying to go over common examples of customer responses or requests because it gives employees a chance to interact with difficult situations better prepares them for new challenges.

  • Readings or course work: Assign new recruits readings or course work to complete on-site or after hours on their own time and provide proof of completion. Worksheets or electronic questionnaires are used to determine competency and may require additional resources and support if needed.

Read more: How to Train Employees More Efficiently (With Tips)

What makes employee development necessary?

Technological advancements and alternative workspaces have caused myriad changes for companies and a shift in how workers can remain a productive and cohesive unit during a work-from-home arrangement. As a result, companies understand the benefits of virtual training units, more collaborative platforms, and providing workers with the flexibility of working remotely. Prioritizing the health and well-being of employees creates a learning environment where leadership can integrate new skills and practices more effectively.

Globalization is a major contributing factor to why employee re-skilling is necessary. Companies use virtual platforms to communicate, distribute, and accept goods and services from other international companies and clients. Supervisors train employees to understand how to use and organize new technology for smooth and ordered transactions. More knowledgeable and skilled workers can prepare and lead new employees to use more advanced techniques with more available ways to address weaknesses and gaps in skill set.

Related: Transferable Skills: Definition and Examples

How to create a skill development program

A good skill development program is self-sustaining, which means it operates on its own with low maintenance to achieve an optimal outcome . Using competence tests to assess mathematical, language, or situational proficiency can reduce turnover rates and make the hiring process more efficient. Once recruitment is over, growth opportunities are still available throughout employment to refine and update skills. Here is a list of tips and guidelines for how to implement a skill-development program for your workplace:

1. Start with core skills and competency

Interpersonal communication, reading and writing comprehension, time management, and leadership are examples of core skills. Refining and working on these skills with workers prepares them to adapt quickly to the changes in the industry, with updates on procedures and new technology. These are skills that include minimal interaction with technology and artificial intelligence, but establish a system for understanding and applying those skills to computer-based practical knowledge and other areas.

2. Take regular surveys

Measure administrative, technological, and core skills with different types of surveys that determine individual baseline strengths and weaknesses. Such surveys include self-reported personality traits, behavioural tendencies, and psychological biases. Surveys or questionnaires help employers gather information about each employee and how development programs can cater to their needs.

3. Don't wait

Don't wait until new developments in your industry establish new standard business methods, prepare for when they arrive. With higher education becoming more of a core qualification to get hired in certain job positions, companies require a wider range of skills and competencies for their workers. Consider the next five to ten years of the company's growth before configuring a program that can satisfy company goals and apply them without delay.

4. Use group projects

Using group projects emphasizes collaboration and teamwork in the workplace. Engage your workers and motivate them to learn by providing them with resources that focus on working together. When educating employees with new practices, individual-based methods aren't as effective as hands-on, team-based ones. Examinations, or written tests, in lecture rooms are often a less stimulating challenge and may hinder optimal learning. A positive attitude about developing skills is an important part of designing a successful program. Without it, employees can have a more difficult time grasping new concepts and technologies.

5. Focus on problem-solving and adaptation

The reason problem-solving and adaptability are the two of the most important core skills is because they prepare employees to face new advancements in technology. Artificial intelligence or computer-based innovations in the workplace cannot always solve complex problems that require human intervention. This means that even though new technologies can make tasks more efficient, there are some aspects of professional work that technology can't cover, which makes being able to adapt the most important skill.

6. Use a sector and individualized approach

The skills of employees are diverse and difficult to generalize under one specific program. While using group projects to improve skills is an important feature of an excellent training program, you can use an individualized approach where employers take the skills of each employee into consideration and create unique programs for each person. A sector-based approach groups teams under a more focused development plan that considers the unique skills and practices for each department.

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