Can you afford not to invest in training?

In many trades and professions we take for granted that skilled practitioner have invested intensive amounts of time and money in upskilling/training? We assume that the pilot captaining the plane we board has undergone years of vigorous training. From the master craftsmen sculpting your furniture to the chef who cooks you a delicious meal, one thing remains constant: you can be sure these professionals have invested heavily in the acquisition and refinement of skills through training.

So why is it in the not for profit sector, that the idea of a training program often amounts to little more than being directed to a dusty, out of date manual? In order for you and your staff to become masters in your chosen fields, a high focus and investment in training is paramount.

The benefits of investment in training are by and large instilled in us as self-evident:

  • Higher productivity
  • The ability to avoid complications or deal with them effectively when they arise
  • A more confident and happy workforce

And there’s no organisation out there that wouldn’t love to have higher levels of staff productivity and confidence.

Organisational tools such as software and in-house programs are there to work for your organisation first and foremost. If you find yourself engaging in constant workarounds, cleaning up past errors and best guessing best practice, chances are that the software you invested in to make your life easier and to increase revenue is in actually having the opposite effect. This is why a clearly defined training program executed either in-house or by an external provider is critical.

Of course we all know that new starters will need training on the programs you use to get up to speed, but is the training some of your more senior members received 10 years ago still relevant? Was has changed in the intermediary years? How much more could they be getting out of your systems, knowing that in this time the world has shifted from dial up modems to wireless smartphones?

We all need to ensure that we are all provided with the physical tools we need to succeed, as well as investment in the accompanying knowledge skills and abilities.