You need to invest in training, and here’s why.Cassandra Vagher
It’s something you already know, but are you doing it? Whether you’re at the bottom of the totem pole or sitting at the top of it, furthering your or your team’s education can do no harm. So, why aren’t you? Some people have the perception that training is costly, employees are too busy, and even “what if I do I train my employees and they leave?” The truth is, the benefits of investing in training yourself or employees outweighs the costs and your fears. When you invest in training you increase productivity, employee satisfaction, and the ability to foster innovation.
- Weed Out Inefficiencies
What about inefficiencies? They result in lost time and money, and that adds up. Brian Benton, AutoCAD expert and Technical Writer points out the predictable truth, “Untrained workers are inefficient,” in his article Importance of Employee Training. In the long haul those inefficiencies will out-cost the training it would have taken to develop the proper skills or work flow. So, what can happen if you do invest in training? In a 2010 study, The Impact of Training on Productivity and Wages: Firm Level Evidence, Jozef Konings surveyed 170,000 active firms in Belgium. He claimed that his results showed a trained worker “is almost two times as productive as an unschooled worker and earns a substantially higher wage.” Instead of losing time and money from continuing to work with inefficiencies, find training and double your productivity – saving money and saving time.
I cringe when I hear firms say that training will cost too much, or that it will take too much time away from actually getting work done. Do not be short sighted when it comes to your firm or you career. Weed out your inefficiencies and move on
- Employee Retention/Satisfaction Employee retention is a big deal in the construction industry right now. With unemployment at a low it’s hard to find skilled labor, so firms need to keep employees satisfied. In the study Training, Job Satisfaction and Workplace Performance in Britain, Melanie K. Jones of Swansea University says that her results, “suggest that training improves both an individual’s (perceived) job security and their pay, and also increases their work autonomy with a concomitant increase in the intrinsic, non-pecuniary rewards of the job, such as sense of achievement, etc.” Investing in an employee’s training can communicate that you are invested in them and make them more comfortable in their job. However, this isn’t just for young or unskilled workers. Jones continues to explain that, “training does increase the satisfaction of workers, there is no extra effect for those workers whose skill levels are below (or above) those required to do their job.” Whether your staff has a GED or PhD, they’re the brand-new field engineer or they’re the VP of Procurement, there’s always room for improvement.
- Increase Capacity to Adopt New Technologies and Foster Innovation
We all know plenty of companies who want to skip from Point A all the way to Point C or even D. When it comes to new technology though, if you haven’t set yourself up for Point B, then transitioning or growing into Point C or D probably aren’t quick or even possible. For instance, some construction companies see virtual reality and are drawn to its capabilities, but they haven’t properly implemented BIM (Building Information Management) into their overall process. How can you adopt the latest and greatest technologies when you’re missing the foundation? Bronwyn H. Hall of University of California at Berkeley sheds some light on the Adoption of New Technology. She explains, “If a successful implementation of a technology requires complex new skills, and if it is time-consuming or costly to acquire the required level of competence, then adoption might be slow.” This statement holds truth, especially in the AEC industry, however, firms and individuals that hold training to high value and make an effort to keep up with technology are less likely to fall behind the curve. Keep up with training your staff and technology to avoid falling behind your competition.
I value education and embrace the lifestyle of the “lifelong learner.” There’s evidence to support that we all should – who can argue with benefits like increased productivity and innovation? Invest in yourself and invest in your team, and you’ll be improving your work environment. Professor Frank Pot of the Radboud University explains in his article Workplace Innovation and its Relations with Organizational Performance and Employee Commitment , “Lifelong learning deals with continuous improvement to make our lives inside and outside work organizations better in a sustainable way. . . Short term demands often win over a long-term vision. Investing in decent workplaces is a long-term effort with sustainable opportunities to combine seemingly opposed goals.” Training and furthering education isn’t a one-stop-shop, there’s always more. Start investing now and integrate it as part of your culture, before it becomes an issue.