Importance of training in the workplace

Henry Ford, an American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company-a multinational automaker, once said that the only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.

Professionals in the career world cannot agree with this more, for they highlight that untrained employees can have a derailing impact on the success of any firm.

Apparently untrained employees take up to six times longer to perform the same task as a trained employee.

Maureen Ashimwe, a human resource manager, says that it is impossible for employees who lack ample training to produce high-quality products or services.

She explains that in this case, they lack the required skills and suitable knowledge to offer adequate services, a factor that can lead to discontented clients.

“The company will be affected a lot. Whereas training employees calls for expenditure, not training them, on the other hand, can even be much more costly. Unequipped workers can translate to a decline of sales,” she says.

Ashimwe emphasises that having a trained workforce means your workers are learning new skills that can improve productivity and reduce production costs.

“Workers who are fully equipped are also less exposed to making mistakes that would otherwise translate to company losses. It is, hence, obvious that employee training is a win-win situation for both the employers and employees,” she adds.

Employee retention and growth

Yves Ujeneza, an entrepreneur, says it is evident that training of employees can be a costly and time-consuming task, especially if it’s a large organisation.

However, he is quick to add that the advantages that come with it are worth the risk.

He also adds that employee training not only increases performance and commitment, but it also has many chances of improving employee retention.

“Training makes employees feel valued. It shows them that their employer is committed to equipping them with the necessary skills for the growth of the company as well as their careers. This creates opportunities for the organisation because then, the process of firing, hiring and re-hiring in search of more competent staff is limited, hence, reduction in recruitment costs,” he says.

Adam Manzi, a production manager at A-wize Media, says the world is constantly changing in everything, especially jobs, in terms of how they are done and who does them.

Though organisations tend to have specific ways they do things to achieve their set goals and visions, Manzi says they should always consider the fact that they belong to industries that also follow global changes.

With this, he says, employees must be trained to stay up to date with the current wave of how things are being done.

“Employees must have current information about their organisation and how the industry they are in is moving. This helps them stay ahead of their competition. Training is important because service delivery must always be number one. If a worker is to deliver, they must have quarterly refresher courses to know the organisation’s operations inside out,” he says.

Manzi also adds that trainings give an opportunity for employees to share ideas on what could improve, be changed, among other innovative ideas that could be put in place to increase their efficiency and effectiveness.

“Trainings are also important to help remind employees the vision of the organisation, the direction they are heading to and why they do what they do. They, on the other hand, help employees personally as they are able to take all that knowledge, skills and experience they’ve acquired and applied it to their future jobs or personal businesses. Trainings are important for personal development and growth,” he concludes.

Lillian Umwali, a customer care officer, thinks it’s very important for an organisation to train its employees, reasoning that it allows them to perform better, acquire new skills, therefore, increasing productivity level.

“Besides, this is also a form of capacity building. And it also builds the company for the competitive world. This at times also serves as a way of getting some employees to know more about that organisation in most cases when they are new entrants,” she says.

Maintaining pace with the evolving work environment

Oscar Kimanuka, a senior consultant at International Training Institute for Skills Development–Ltd, a company that offers skills development for managers and leaders through offering refresher courses, says that there are a number of challenges that employers and employees face that can be addressed through employee trainings.

He says there is the issue of competing with continuous labour market dynamics of technological advancement. “Keeping at pace with changing times can be hard (this affects both employees and employers),” he says.

Employers, on the other hand, can find it hard to get enough funds to sustain qualified trainers, both local and international, and sustainability becomes a challenge due to budgetary constraints, the consultant observes.

It is in this line that they started operating owing to human capacity needs/ gaps that Rwanda has, he reveals.

“For a developing country like Rwanda with its turbulent history, there is a need to fill up the human capacity needs/gaps that exist. This is why the institution offers refresher courses for capacity building such as corporate trainings, in house trainings, and tailor-made trainings according to client needs, benchmarking /study tours among others,” Kimanuka says.

Through such courses, he says employees are enabled to gain the skills needed to advance to a management career, develop and verify their skills, and that this can greatly contribute to filling the human capacity gaps that exist.

Writer Brian Benton discerns that business managers wouldn’t hire unqualified employees, but so many of them do employ under-qualified workers. Sometimes employees become under-qualified due to changing technology or the development of new methods.

Having a trained workforce means workers are learning new skills that can improve production, cut time spent in the creation of the product (or service), reduce production costs, reduce mistakes, build confidence in the workforce, and create a better working environment. An investment in the employees’ skill sets is an investment in the company. When everyone gets better, everyone gets better, he notes.

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YOUR VOICE: Why is it important for an organisation to train employees

Learning is a continuous process, and one who wants to advance has to seek constant learning.  This is why employees of various organisations are always offered training depending on their missions, visions and plans for growth. In most cases, organisations offer training for their employees in a bid to improve service delivery, times change, hence, people change and this calls for constant updates.

Yvette Mukamwiza, Miss Career Africa

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Each organisation has a culture which employees need to be accustomed to. To meet the goals and targets, organisations need to make sure that employees are well equipped in terms of resources, especially with the specific skills required in delivery, and this is mostly done through trainings. In this technological era, new ways of doing things are always coming, and for organisations to be competitive they need to be updated and improve their systems frequently. Employees will need to be trained with every new system that is adopted. 

Kamaro Bukoko, Real estate agent

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Even though people enter the workplace with required skills and qualifications, as the world evolves the way things are done evolves too. For this reason, employees should have training opportunities to improve their skills and knowledge in order to stay updated and be more productive in fulfilling their responsibilities.

Diane Mushimiyimana, Communications officer

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With ample training, employees need less supervision in executing their duties. Employees who are equipped with proper training are well accustomed to what they do and will need less supervision. Thus, there will be less wastage of time and efforts.

Livingstone Buyinza, Businessman

dmbabazi@newtimesrwanda.com

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