Top-Shelf Tip No. 199:

"Learning never exhausts the mind."

Leonardo da Vinci

Why Employee Training Should Be A Top Priority

Your team's success largely depends on each worker's output. Are you giving your employees the tools they need to succeed? Whether you've just brought on a new sales rep or you're introducing new sales software, it's important to take the time to train your people well.

Tom Popomaronis, a CNBC contributor and the senior director of product innovation at the Hawkins Group, says that your training efforts have a significant impact on employee output. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Popomaronis's thoughts on why employee training should be first on your priority list.

Quality training creates a high-engagement culture. Employees who are highly engaged are more productive and less likely to quit their jobs. Even more importantly, they help build a positive culture around your brand, resulting in a more team-focused environment. In many cases, a highly engaged employee can even serve as your best recruiter when looking for new talent, says Popomaronis. New-hire onboarding should account for social integration with future colleagues, as well as an overview of company values and norms. This helps a new employee better adapt to the culture. Investing in continuous training also creates a growth-minded culture that benefits the entire team.

Training improves productivity. Popomaronis asserts that training is most important during the onboarding process when a new hire is still learning the ropes of their job. Even seemingly mundane tasks, like covering your business's unique jargon or explaining processes for using an in-house software program, will help eliminate the early roadblocks that slow down a new hire's productivity. Ongoing training can provide similar benefits, helping employees become more productive and efficient in their assigned roles.

Keep up with changing tech and industry trends. According to a PwC survey, 47 percent of employees feel their company doesn't address their needs when introducing new technology. At the same time, most employees across a wide range of industries "report that they're willing to spend up to two days per month on training to upgrade their digital skills if offered by their employer." Any time you introduce a new software program or adapt your processes to adjust to industry changes, you must consider how this will affect the daily activities of your workers, says Popomaronis. By providing your team with the resources they need to keep up (or even get ahead) in an ever-changing world, they will respond more positively to internal changes and be better equipped to deliver the results your company needs.

Training improves retention rates. A positive, highly engaged culture will naturally lead to better retention rates, one of the most important issues for any business owner. Ongoing training should go beyond merely keeping everyone informed of corporate policy changes. By focusing on employees' educational needs, you will help them develop new skills and reach their career goals, notes Popomaronis. Rather than having employees quit to look for better opportunities elsewhere, a quality training program will prepare your company's next generation of leaders.

To put your team and your entire company on track for a bright future, make a commitment to employee training.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Tom Popomaronis is senior director of product innovation at the Hawkins Group. He is also a leadership contributor with CNBC and his work has been featured in Forbes, Inc. magazine andTechCrunch. In 2014, he was named one of the "40 Under 40" by the Baltimore Business Journal.

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