How employee training can help your business

For a business to scale successfully, it may need a team of employees with the right skills, experience, and tools to carry out their roles effectively.

However, according to the Department for Education, less than two-thirds of UK employers were reported to have offered employee training just before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Research by LinkedIn found that 93% of employers are concerned about retention of staff.

Employee training can help businesses attract and retain staff – especially important as companies continue to struggle with filling vacancies post-pandemic.

Employee training is not just about equipping employees with the right know-how.

It's about investing in your team to expand skills and understanding that help your business boost effectiveness, stay competitive, expand into new areas, and win new customers.

What is employee training?

Employee training can help staff develop their skills to become more effective in their roles.

Some training is a legal requirement, such as for employees handling and preparing food, working with hazardous materials, or working at height.

All employees must be trained in fire safety and workplace health and safety.

Different forms of training are available, such as:

  • eLearning – online courses and training that are tailored for remote training
  • classroom and trainer – individual or group training usually held in person
  • job shadowing – junior or new team members learning from experienced staff.

Training can be provided at different stages of employment, such as during induction into your business, as regular refresher training, or when an employee moves to a new role or department.

The benefits of employee training

Besides providing the skills employees need to carry out tasks effectively, other benefits may include:

  • a stronger sense of accountability for employees
  • increased productivity
  • improved efficiency
  • greater employee independence.
  • transparent company standards and processes
  • greater opportunities for employee development
  • increased staff retention.

How to develop an employee training programme

1. Identify employee training requirements

Your employees' training will depend on their roles, activities, and business operations.

For example, an employee working in a warehouse may require different training than an employee handling customer data in a contact centre.

Identifying your employees' tasks can help inform you of the training they may require.

It may be worth consulting your employees to understand if there are any other tasks they undertake for which they may require additional training.

It can also be a good idea to plan for training that might be needed in the future, such as meeting company expansion plans into new markets.

2. Set personal training goals

Your employees' personal training goals will differ depending on their current skillsets and how their role may develop.

For example, one employee may want to master a popular software that could make completing tasks more time efficient as they take on more responsibility.

For another, they may want to build their confidence when speaking to a large group of people, such as for a presentation.

Set goals, such as undertaking a set amount of training, achieving an agreed competency level, or gaining a certification.

3. Create personal training plans

Establishing personal training goals may help employers create a tailored personal training plan that identifies and addresses skill gaps or builds upon existing expertise.

It can be a good idea to ask employees how they like to learn, such as through online training or more 1-2-1 tutor-led sessions.

Consider all the available training types and allocate a dedicated budget to support training activities.

It can be a good idea to jot down a structured training programme detailing the lessons and outcomes you're looking for.

4. Use already available resources

You may have access to training resources within your company.

One such resource is your current employee pool.

Employees from different departments, or employees who have been with the business longer than others, may have valuable knowledge and skills other employees can use to progress, so consider shadowing or on-the-job learning.

Digital companies, such as Google, LinkedIn and HubSpot have free or cheap online learning that provides expert-led courses across numerous topics.

Some industry professionals operate YouTube channels that provide free, informative video content on various topics.

More in-depth learning is available from programmes such as Learn with Start Up Loans and the government-funded Free Courses in England scheme.

5. Track and measure progress

Consider putting in place regular training review sessions to measure how effective training is and to learn how to improve it for future training needs.

Tracking and analysing your employees' progress towards their goals can ensure training is completed and the lessons applied.

Consider holding 1-2-1 review sessions with employees to discuss what they learned and how they have applied it to the workplace.

Reference to any organisation, business and event on this page does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation from the British Business Bank or the UK Government. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to keep the information on this page up to date, we do not guarantee or warrant (implied or otherwise) that it is current, accurate or complete. The information is intended for general information purposes only and does not take into account your personal situation, nor does it constitute legal, financial, tax or other professional advice. You should always consider whether the information is applicable to your particular circumstances and, where appropriate, seek professional or specialist advice or support.

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