Today, there are still many people who don’t value ongoing business training and education, viewing them as a nonproductive diversion from “real” work. Yet today, ongoing training is still respected and often encouraged throughout the corporate world. Here are some reasons why:
It’s been said that the fastest way to advance civilization is through education from birth to the grave. This is especially true when we consider the fact that there’s no such thing as a job for life. Gone are the days when one leaves school, enters the workplace and stays with the same company until retirement. Given today’s economic environment, short term contracts and constantly changing technology, ongoing business training has become a key strategy for those who want to stay employed and avoid the potential for layoff.
The Value of Ongoing Business Training
A friend once told me that “motivational speeches don’t work! The motivation just wears off.” To this I commented “Taking a bath wears off too, but it’s a good idea to take one every now and then.” In reality, training of all sorts is subject to this degradation. As new ideas enter a field, the old tech becomes less useful. This is sometimes called “learning deterioration.”
Research has shown that by keeping current through ongoing business training will give you significant competitive advantages. If your company doesn’t offer ongoing training opportunities, it’s up to you to develop your own strategy. Ask yourself a few questions. What’s the new hot tech in your field? What training would best help you excel in your position? What training would help make you the best choice for an upcoming promotion? Where can I get the training I need cost-effectively?
As you may know, some CEOs still question training’s return on investment (ROI). For most companies, employee training and educational development is little more a single event every now and again, like bringing in a consultant for the day. When considering employment, look for companies with a successful training strategy that addresses critical areas in the business where you can gain your greatest competitive advantages.
Developing a Learning Culture
If your company has a learning culture, and is actively fostering ongoing training and employee education, it’s likely that they are open to the latest technology, methods, processes and more. If this component is missing, it’s up to you to take the initiative and get the training that will be most helpful in developing your career.
Established companies are often passed up by newer competitors. It isn’t because the newer company is necessarily better than the established veteran. It’s usually because the newbie isn’t tied down by outdated work procedures, and encourages employees to be open to learning personal development. It’s the voracious desire to learn and grow that propels the newbie and their employees ahead of the competition.
The Value of Informal Training
Many times, employees learn how to master new tasks by observing others and asking questions. If this component is missing from your company, look for opportunities among your seasoned colleagues. Ask questions. Seek out and network with more experienced co-workers and friends. Most folks are happy to help out an enthusiastic learner, and you can be sure your supervisor will notice your efforts.
Productivity tends to improve when a company has an organized system for informal or apprentice-style training. New workers learn about company processes more quickly, and they know where to go to have their questions answered. They’re also more easily able to establish themselves successfully in their positions by mastering the new skills they pick up.
Combine Formal and Informal Training
Your company may have an effective training program, but it will work best when it’s a combination of formal training with a practical application component. For example, a sales person can learn about a company’s products and sales pitch, but when he or she is also able to witness an master salesperson in action, skill and productivity can increase dramatically.
When you develop your own personal education strategy, you will not only improve your company’s efficiency but you will give yourself a distinct advantage in today’s changing and competitive marketplace.
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This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising, graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering, Now what do we do?” We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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