The value of continuous learning

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There is a common saying that I regularly hear and sometimes see pinned on notice boards in client offices:

“What if we train them and they leave?…. What if we don’t and they stay?”

It is probably one you are familiar with but do you really understand what it means for your business? The value of training and investing in staff is regularly undervalued by company owners who fear that any investment will only benefit future employers and not their existing company. However, what is not considered is how staff perceive the opportunities within the business and the impact that has on motivation and hence performance over time.
Most people are keen to learn new things, refresh and improve on their skills and realise how their contribution adds value to the business. As long as the training is relevant, enjoyable, pitched to the audience in a good environment and executed well, it is likely to be well received and well attended.
The question always asked by Millennials entering a new job is “what training prospects are there for me with your company?” But it is something that all applicants should be asking when applying to a new company, as it is necessary for career progression and self development. The underlying question being asked however is: “will you care enough about me once I am hired?” The potential of learning new things is valued by all staff – new and existing – and when staff see this investment taking place across all positions it has a positive effect on behaviour, motivation and performance as a whole.
Remember that business is all about growth, it doesn’t matter how big or small the business. Investing in your staff is one of the best ways of supporting that growth and improving business performance.
So, as said by Richard Branson, “train your staff well enough so that they can leave, but treat them well enough so that they don’t”!

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