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Proactive training - the great motivator

15th Dec 2009
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With budgets downsized, employers are looking anywhere they can to save money for the initiatives they deem critical. Research shows that training is a great motivator in the workplace, especially when perceived as a form of recognition.

Investing money in a worker’s development increases morale and the confidence needed during times of increased redundancies. But many UK companies are not able to offer staff proactive training and development as the economy bears down on budgets and resources. Instead, many are focusing on hosting redundancy training sessions to support workplace transitions.

But is only focusing on redundancy training enough? What about retaining and encouraging the employees who remain?

Moving from a reactive to a proactive training strategy can help keep workers happy and productive. Also, training can positively impact the company’s bottom line, as employees become more knowledgeable and equipped with the skills needed to perform well on the job.

A recent study conducted by Cognisco found that some of the world’s top companies have been decreasing spending on knowledge development and support programmes. It went on to note that businesses lost approximately £19 billion in 2008 as a result of employees not being able to perform their jobs correctly.

By identifying areas where additional guidance is necessary, companies can select training sessions that cater to specific job functions, such as effective project management and leadership development.

Ultimately, if you’re always putting out fires through reactive training for redundancy scenarios, you don’t have the opportunity to take a long term view at the needs of your workforce. Taking the time to examine how to be strategic about employee development and productivity will make a difference in how employees view company leadership. It will also add value to the company’s total reward strategy.

Employers are finding various ways to support employees through the economic shift and increasing redundancies. Some are allowing employees to join sessions through webinars instead of traveling to conferences. Webinars allow employees to get involved in off-site training that typically might not be affordable or time-efficient. Work-life services providers like Employee Advisory Resource (EAR) can help with assessing overall company training needs and design a plan tailored to individual organisations.

Webinar training can cover areas such as people management (managing change, stress and communication), designed for anyone with responsibility for managing employees; lifestyle (work-life effectiveness, parenting, etc.), which can help with employees’ well-being at work and at home; and policy development solutions (managing dignity and respect, critical incident stress management and well-being management), intended to assist with meeting legal obligations to employees.

Alan King is the president and managing director for EAR, a leading provider of EAP and integrated work-life services.

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