Training can increase competitiveness and reduce costs

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In today’s challenging business environment, successful companies are looking for ways to enhance their competitive advantages while reducing costs.

Initiatives that improve performance and operations can achieve these often-conflicting goals simultaneously and produce positive results. Expanding the knowledgeability of employees to better, for example, operate and maintain equipment, and consistently comply with both company procedures and industry regulations is one such initiative.

The question then becomes, how do you provide this training while minimising costs? The objective is to help organisations understand the tools that can be leveraged to maximise the value of their training budget.

During harsh economic times, the pressure to reduce expenses skyrockets. At the same time, quality and safety, regulatory compliance and a host of other considerations from “green” initiatives, to employee retention and bottom line performance, must be addressed.

Of course, training can achieve a multitude of various business and operational objectives – far beyond, for example, just complying with regulations. In times of stress, successful businesses find new opportunities, often through through employee training.

To ensure the right people have the right skills and knowledge to maximise performance and produce a quality product or service while meeting other corporate goals, a company must be committed to properly training its employees.

Despite the pressure to reduce costs, cutting training is a shortsighted and potentially costly response that can sometimes lead to disastrous results. Instead, looking to improve the effectiveness of the training programme, with an eye on costs, can produce positive measurable results in the short run as well as long-term.

Just as each person is unique, so are the ways in which we best learn. Whether we call this learning, education or training, it is important to provide the tools that help make individuals successful because successful employees help create successful businesses.

Offering a blended learning methodology that combines job shadowing, instructor-led training and online training is the most successful way to ensure the transfer of knowledge to those that need it.

By offering such a combination, the company benefits from the unique advantages of each training method and doesn’t limit its program and people by the constraints inherent in any one training method.

Successful companies understand that training is an investment, not a cost, which pays off through skilled employees adding value to the business. To paraphrase Zig Ziglar, the only thing worse than training an employee and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.

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