Workplace training & development is more important than ever. Jack Welch once said, “An organization’s ability to learn and translate that learning into action is the ultimate competitive advantage.” We will look at three ways organizations can increase their competitive advantage through employee learning & development.
First, organizations need to reduce risk and consistently ensure 100% compliance. Compliance requirements often demand specific training programs (e.g., sexual harassment in California, MSHA competent person, OSHA, Sarbanes-Oxley, food handling, etc.). Other training topics in this area are more about reducing costs (e.g., fraud training, shrinkage-related training) or public relations (e.g., crisis response training). Well-designed processes and procedures are important in this area, but training is perhaps the most important aspect of regulatory compliance, worker/public safety, and general risk mitigation (e.g., ethics, legal, etc.). Great employers set new standards of corporate responsibility, and training is the best way to develop a workforce that is knowledgeable and consistent in this area. Organizations that invest in this type of training enjoy huge cost savings and reputational benefits.
Second, training in operational efficiency is also essential. Organizations need their people to be knowledgeable about newly-release products, efficient processes, best practices, and to have the skills to utilize equipment/systems. It goes without saying that efficiency, quality control, and effective execution are significant areas of differentiation.
Third, employee engagement and leadership/people skills are critical. “If there is a new social contract implicit between employers and employees today, it should be this: You give me your labor, and I will guarantee that as long as you work here, I will give you every opportunity – through either career advancement or training to become more employable, more versatile” (The World is Flat, Thomas L. Friedman, pg.293). In surveys, “development opportunities” is consistently one of the top reasons that talented people stay at great companies. In order to ensure that employees are engaged and your organization is ready to transition to new leadership in the years ahead, leadership development is an essential component that needs focus and investment.
Organizations can achieve a sustainable competitive advantage as they make these three areas of training a significant priority. Watch our demo to see how Torch can make your training more engaging and efficient.