Why should Learning & Development be part of an SME's culture?

01 / 05 / 19

Learning and development is an important element of any business, whatever the size and whatever the industry. Why? Put simply, learning is your competitive advantage. In one of our previous blogs, we’ve explored how to recruit into small businesses and so this article aims to explore the next step on your employee journey, i.e. now you have recruited the perfect individual, how do you retain them and what are the benefits to developing and retaining these employees.

If you’re an SME, it may be that you’re just embarking on growing your business and so in the first stages of employing extra bods. Or, you may be further on with the development of your company and realising significant growth both in the revenue stakes and your people. In both instances, you’re sure to have a million and one things to think about from the day-to-day running of the company, sales and recruitment to employee benefits, policies/procedures and training & development.

I’m pretty sure that you’ve felt overwhelmed at more than one stage when it comes to thinking about all of HR responsibilities which come with hiring employees and training and development may be the last thing on your mind. But whichever stage you’re at, it’s important to make sure this is at the forefront of your mind and you have a program in place. In fact, it’s thought that up to 57% of SME’s in the UK don’t offer training and development.

Improved motivation, satisfaction & morale

Generally speaking, most employees want to develop in their chosen field and climb the career ladder. When an employee starts at your company, they may be full of enthusiasm and entirely happy with their role. However, over time, individuals can become bored as the role they are undertaking can appear somewhat stale.

If there is somewhere else for this person to go within the business, if there are other skills they can learn and if they feel like they’re adding true value, they will remain motivated and hungry to succeed for both themselves and your organisation. If however, they don’t feel challenged, they will become bored, demotivated and the only step then is to leave the company and seek employment whereby they do feel valued and able to progress.

‘Nine out of ten UK employees would be less likely to seek new employment if their current employer offered a training and development program.'

Improved employee performance

Training will give your employees a greater understanding of the responsibilities within their role, enabling them to improve their performance as well as building their confidence. Employees who are competent and on top of changing industry standards, help your company hold a position as a leader and strong competitor within the industry.

Addressing weaknesses

It’s inevitable that most employees will have some weaknesses in their skills. A training program allows you to strengthen and improve those. A development program brings all employees to a higher level so they all hold similar skills and knowledge. This will help to reduce any weak links within your organisation who rely heavily on others to complete basic work tasks. It also means you will have a team of individuals who can work individually without the need for micromanagement and can pitch in for one another as required.

The cost of replacing an employee is significant

Each time a salaried employee is replaced within a business, the cost of recruiting can be equal to 9 months’ salary! For example, if a manager earning £40 000 were to leave you, it could cost up to £30 000 in recruitment and learning costs to replace that person. That’s without even taking into consideration the time it takes to get the right person on-board and the time taken to train them on the job etc.

So, just think, if history then repeats itself with that person leaving again due to lack of learning and development opportunities, you really could be wasting a lot of time and money. It’s imperative you take into consideration reducing your employee turnover rates.

As you can see, the importance of training and developing your employees really can’t be over-emphasised. It presents a prime opportunity to expand the knowledge base of your employees to give your business the competitive advantage. Yes, getting your program right takes time, both for you and those employees who attend training sessions and so miss out on work time, however, the benefits make this a worthwhile investment, resulting in true financial gain.

So, if you would like help with developing and implementing your training & development program, why not get in touch: 01453 297557 or email enquiries@peepshr.co.uk.


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