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Business Development & Marketing General

Employee training and development benefits business

an employee training sessionBusiness leaders are not the only people in an organisation who should pay attention to increasing their knowledge and expertise.
Everybody who works for the business is important to its continued success and growth, so a programme of ongoing training and continuous development for employees would be a worthwhile investment for the ambitious business.
It is no secret that the UK is suffering from a skills shortage that is already impacting on the ability of companies to recruit the people they need, especially at a time when employment is at its highest level.
While employers might be worried about the cost of investing in their staff who subsequently leave, they should be more worried about not investing in staff who stay.

What are the benefits of employee training and development?

Recruiting to fill a vacancy can be a costly and lengthy process, assuming that there is even someone out there with the desired skills.
There may be someone in the company already who has the potential do the job with some additional training. It may be that this would not take much longer than the recruitment process, and it would have the added advantage of money spent within the business rather than to an outside service. And it can save on expensive and time-consuming recruitment.
It may less risky training up a known person than gambling on whether a new recruit turns out to have the right qualities and soft skills, in addition to their qualifications, to fit into the organisation’s culture.
Training also brings flexibility through staff being able to do other jobs when colleagues are on holiday or off sick. Having several members of staff who can operate plant and machinery or work in different departments can be highly valuable. It can also bring in house work that might be subcontracted such as equipment maintenance, accounts or marketing.
A training programme brings other benefits, in that it ensures staff can see a way of developing their potential and their careers. At the same time, it will ensure that the capabilities of both organisation and people keep pace with new developments in their sector.
Training can help build employees’ confidence, so that they feel able to tackle unexpected developments, such as a customer complaint, professionally and constructively in a way that enhances the company’s reputation.
Confidence in knowledge and skills means employees can make a greater contribution to the benefit of all as does inviting suggestions for new ideas, products or ways of doing things.
The business that invests in its employees gives them self-respect and shows they are valued.  It is more likely to keep them and to be able to benefit from their motivation and contribution.

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Business Development & Marketing Finance General Turnaround

How can SMEs prepare for the National Living Wage?

Predictably, predictions of job cuts and slower growth for SMEs followed the announcement of a compulsory National Living Wage in July’s emergency budget.
But how serious a threat is it really, given that businesses are already used to annual increases in the minimum wage and the £9 Living Wage will not come into effect until five years hence in 2020?
Although there are other factors such as business rates and rent that received no mention in the budget and play into business costs, the wage issue alone need not put a brake on plans for growth.
Firstly, some of the increased wage bill is offset by an increase in the employers’ national insurance employment allowance from £2,000 to £3,000 and from a reduction in corporation tax. Secondly the living wage will only apply to those aged 25-plus.
It could, therefore, be used as an opportunity to plan ahead, which all businesses should be doing each year in any event.
All businesses depend on a well-motivated and well trained workforce and with four or five years still to go, now might be a good time to consider taking on an apprentice or two or investing in staff training.
It may also be a good time to invest in more up to date equipment and more automation or to consider outsourcing some routine tasks that will leave more time for existing staff to focus on those tasks that need to be done by skilled humans.
Arguably, such measures will bring the advantages of a more stable, committed and engaged workforce and higher productivity per person and a growing business better prepared for paying the Living Wage in 2020.