Question How important is training and developing your staff in running your own business?

Answer We asked Pam McLeod, HR adviser with Business Gateway Clackmannanshire, to explain the benefits of staff training and development.

Knowledge and skills development is vital to the health of your company. Untrained or poorly trained employees cost significantly more to support than well-trained employees do. Training affects employee retention and is a valuable resource that, if viewed as an investment rather than as an expense, can produce high returns.

Training is defined as a company’s efforts aimed at helping employees to acquire the basic skills required for the efficient performance of their specific job role. Development, on the other hand, deals with activities undertaken to help employees perform additional duties and assume other positions within the business. The key motivations behind Training and Development for any company are to: - Remain in business - Increase productivity, positively affecting the bottom line - Create a pool of readily available and adequate replacements for employees who may leave or move up within the business - Enhance the company’s ability to adopt and use advances in technology because of a sufficiently knowledgeable staff - Build a more efficient, effective and highly motivated team, which enhances the company’s competitive position and improves employee morale - Ensure adequate resources for expansion into new areas of business - Reduce employee turnover due to increase in job satisfaction - Decrease need for supervision – removing the need for ‘micro-management’ and allowing company owners/managers more time to build the business In addition, the benefits of Training and Development to employees are numerous and include: - Employees are helped to focus, and priority is placed on empowering them - Employee confidence is built, keeping and developing key performers, enabling team development and contributing to better team morale - Employees are kept up-to-date on new job-related information, thereby contributing significantly to better customer service - Employees are updated on new and enhanced skills, with a view to aligning them to business goals and objectives - Job satisfaction is increased – happy staff equals happy customers There are various methods your business can adopt in the training and development of your employees, depending on your individual needs. They include training courses, on-the-job training, one-to-one coaching sessions, tailored workshops, staff manuals and hand-outs to name but a few. Your local Business Gateway office can offer support and advice on HR, as well as training and advice on many other business issues - to speak to an adviser, please contact Alison Davidson on 01259 726 430 or email