Men and women talking in a meeting

Investing in the development of employees

Why is training important?

4 minute read
Men and women talking in a meeting

When it comes to elite athletes we, as spectators, expect a high level of training and development of skills required to perform at the top of their game.

It’s no different to those who wear an office hat.

For an employee to perform at their highest level, ongoing training and development is needed to stay on top of any new knowledge, behaviours and skills.

AIM WA Chief Operating Officer Shaun Ridley FAIM said staff training and development should be thought of as an ongoing process.

“We should be looking for opportunities to learn, develop, grow and get better at what we do all the time."

“Training and development is just one of the mechanisms we use in doing that.”

The importance of staff training

INPEX Learning and Development Team Lead Glenn Ross AFAIM said the importance of staff training was immense for both the employee and the organisation.

“For us, our people enjoy their time at work more, and it also helps employees to see what they need to do to move to other positions in the organisation,” he said.

“From a development perspective, they can now say ‘what kind of training do I need to do and what development do I need in order to move to this other position or to move up to the next level?’.

“It makes development a lot clearer and visible.”

Dr Ridley said ongoing training meant a staff member’s capabilities were higher so, in turn, employees were more productive and produced better quality work and services for their clients.

“There is a body of evidence that organisations which spend more time and commit more to the development of their people, perform better in terms of stock value,” he said.

“Other performance indicators are also higher for organisations that commit to the development to their people.”

Different types of training

Dr Ridley said there were three different levels of training often spoken about.

“One is remedial,” he said. “So, this is for people who aren’t performing at the current required level.

“The second one is a maintenance level, which is for people who are performing at the required level but will slip back if they don’t keep up to date.

“A simple example of that might be somebody who is very good at using Microsoft Excel, if they don’t update their training or refresh their training when the latest version comes out, they start to fall behind and end up not being an elite performer.

“The third category is the development category, which is for those who are performing at the required level but need further development in order to perform at the next level up.”

Mr Ross said during the COVID-19 pandemic, INPEX had incorporated a few different methods of training in the workforce.

“Through COVID-19 we had a lot of our training, including how to use machinery and pieces of equipment, converted to virtual training,” he said.

“Internally we’ve also had the leadership programs facilitated by our executive team – that’s a big change for us.

“To date, it is has been successful and it has probably helped our leaders and the executive team, get close to the workforce and be more interactive with the workforce, as well as their own teams.”

Tips for investing in employees

Dr Ridley said there was a whole raft of ideas that organisations should keep in mind when thinking about investing time into staff training.

“The key ingredient is a needs analysis to make sure they are putting the training investment and the training time into the right places – right places for the organisation and the right places for the individual,” he said.

“You want to make sure the individual knows why they are doing the training and it’s of interest to them, as well as something that is motivating for them, rather than just the boss telling them they have to do x,y or z.”

Mr Ross said it was important for the right people to be involved in the training process.

“Make sure the individual’s leader is involved in the decision-making and supports them in making sure the development they are doing is actually going to be of benefit for both themselves and the organisation,” he said.

AIM WA Corporate Membership

Dr Ridley said AIM WA’s Corporate Membership was one way organisations could show their employees that staff training was an important aspect of how they ran their company.

“Organisations alert their staff by saying ‘we’ve taken out Gold Corporate Membership at AIM WA’ to signal to the workforce that their development, their progression and their growth is a priority,” he said.