By Matthew Dussome, National Client Relationship Coordinator, Wellness Works Canada
According to Kathryn Minshew, “a company is only as good as its people”. At first glance, Minshew’s statement may seem like common sense, but it is an enduring truth that should never be overlooked. While cutting edge technology, leading insights, and a measure of good luck can be real benefits to organizations, they will never be adequate substitutes for a vibrant working community.
Assembling a great team is crucial for building a great organization, but it is only part of the equation. It is inevitable that stress levels will rise, conflicts will emerge, and industry demands will change. Even with intelligent, highly skilled, and courteous employees, this by itself does not guarantee that an organization will flourish (or even survive).
An accumulating body of research indicates that to develop a healthy and high-performing work culture, continuous workplace training is essential for new and veteran employees alike. Not only has training and education been verified to improve employees’ personal well-being, but can result in long-term, positive growth for an organization in its entirety.
There is consistent evidence across various academic studies to confirm the following benefits:
Refining Existing Skills, Gaining New Abilities
Providing training opportunities and resources to employees allows them to enhance their existing skills and to gain further knowledge about their area of focus. As a result, employees increase their capabilities, efficiency, and produce superior results.
Greater Employee Productivity
Increases in employee productivity are common outcomes of workplace training as a result of improved skill-sets and greater competencies. In one such instance, employees enrolled in a mindfulness and stress management training program reported having higher levels of productivity following the course.
Decreased Need for Supervision
By participating in training sessions, employees are able to implement their learnings and abilities in the workplace. In many cases, employees’ improved capabilities will allow them to work more effectively and require less supervision and corrective action. Similarly, employees with training experiences often conserve time, money, and other additional resources.
Increased Employee Engagement
Employees involved in training and educational opportunities have been proven to develop a stronger commitment to their organization as they are more likely to feel valued and purposeful in their organization. This can lead to increased employee loyalty and satisfaction, which has been determined to contribute to improved customer service and lower rates of absenteeism.
Elevated Team-working Capabilities
Employee participation in workplace training and education sessions have been determined to produce better team-working skills. With multiple employees partaking in the sessions, this allows them to develop the same competencies and learn to collaborate and communicate with each other. This acts to strengthen the workplace culture and can increase the commitment levels of employees.
Greater Employee Creativity and Innovation
As employees gain exposure to new theories, techniques, and knowledge systems, this contributes to an increased level of employee creativity and innovation, and supports an organization’s competitive advantage.
Increased Organizational Performance and Reputation
While workplace training may be an expensive and time-consuming process initially, it has been confirmed that offering consistent opportunities to employees can contribute to an organization’s financial performance due to higher levels of employee productivity, innovation, and cohesion. Additionally, this can enhance an organization’s reputation within a broader social context.
While every organization has different values, processes, and objectives, a commonality between them is the vitality of their employees. If organizations wish to realize their full potential, it is imperative that they begin with investing in their employees. By cultivating a strong workforce, this provides an organization with a solid foundation that will allow it thrive.
Provide regular training and education opportunities that are consistent and relevant with your employees’ needs and organizational aims.
Be observant and aware of any changes (positive and/or negative) that may occur following training sessions.
Conduct routine employee evaluations and performance assessments.
Be open to new learning opportunities and challenges, and encourage others to do the same.
To view cost-effective, customized and interactive online or in-person training opportunities click here.
If you and your organization are interested in psychological health and safety training, please visit Canadian Mental Health Association's (CMHA) site here.