In the hustle and bustle, everything needs to be done now, budget focused, understaffed, world we live in today, and too often employee training is glazed over or skipped entirely. The lack of training provided by a substantial number of employers has fed the ever growing group of incompetent workers and poor customer service providers. Consumers crave quality assistance and positive customer service experiences. This can only happen if employers take the time to provide their staff with adequate training in all areas of their job, and not simply the vital technical areas.
The expansion into a global economy has made the competition between businesses even more intense, making it imperative that businesses do everything they can to create a niche for themselves that makes them stand out from the pack. Quality training in areas such as customer service, and company practices is one way of doing just that. By having knowledgeable associates who are experts in quality customer service any company can achieve distinction in this world of untrained and poor customer service staffing.
·Employers benefit from less errors, happier customers, happier employees, less turnover, and with more customers comes more profits.
·Customers benefit from less hassle on exchanges or product/service issues, saved time in having to wait and explain things over and over again to multiple staff members, and an overall happier experience in doing business with your company.
·Employees are happier because, they feel valued since you have taken the time to train them properly; they feel empowered and more invested in the company.
Studies from the Dale Carnegie Training Center show that employee turnover accounts for $11 billion yearly in financial losses for employers in the U.S. alone. Another study sites that 40 percent of insufficiently trained employees leave their current employment with in the first year stating lack of training and dissatisfaction with their job as the reason for their changing employment. These statistics show that the cost of locating and retraining new employees significantly outweighs the expense of training associates correctly in the first place in order to decrease turnover rates and increase efficiency, productivity, and employee engagement.
The Dale Carnegie study showed that companies with engaged employees beat their competition who did not have engaged employees, in performance by more than 200 percent. Additionally, the study showed that 71 percent of all employees do not feel engaged when it comes to their work, and out of that 26 percent actually felt disengaged in their job. With only 29 percent of the workforce feeling engaged in their job, this means that those companies who provide the training needed to make their associates feel engaged in their job and company will have a significant advantage over their competition.
The topic of adequate training must encompass all positions including all levels of management. 80 percent of employees stating they feel disengaged claim it is largely in part to their dissatisfying relationship with their manager, and 70 percent said their lack of confidence in the company leaders lead them to be disengaged in the company and their position within it. These numbers indicate that management training is just as vital if not more so to a company’s success than associate training.
Only 54 percent of employees in these studies claimed to take pride in the company that they worked for. Both training and the company’s contributions to the community and society in general led to these employees feelings of pride and engagement within their company.
Some of the things that will be seen in engaged employees are:
·Enthusiasm – Enthusiastic employees will promote a healthier work environment because they like their job and want to do the best job they can.
·Inspiration – Inspired associates will come up with new ideas for old and new problems or issues, creating a uniquely innovative environment.
·Confidence – Confident employees will not be afraid of reprisal when they have to make necessary decisions and will handle daily issues in a much more beneficial manner.
·Empowerment – Empowered employees tend to take initiative more frequently and feel more invested within the company
Now that you know how important it is to have well trained and engaged associates, what steps can you implement in order to create them?
oUpper management needs to communicate a clear and detailed vision of the company’s mission, goals, and strategies to meet those goals to all associates no matter what their job is.
oUpper management must continually show associates that they do have a direct impact on the company and their work environment.
oSupervisory and Middle Level Managers need to create a healthy relationship with all of their employees by interacting on a person to person level versus a political hierarchy.
oSupervisors and Managers who create a sense of empowerment with their employees will give their staff a sense of being valued.
oAll staff members should feel able to communicate openly and without fear of disciplinary action so as to contribute their ideas and concerns.
oEmployees need to take ownership of their company by doing the best job they can and representing the company in the most positive light possible at all times.
Having a significant and thorough training program in place for all associates is a powerful recruiting tool for the young and upcoming generation entering the work force. Putting in place a solid training program not only recruits potential employees who are looking to build a long term career, it recruits associates who are looking to build and grow within the company. Having this type of associate means less turnover, happier associates and less hiring expense; some examples of this as published in Forbes 2012 100 Best Companies to Work for List are:
·Google – Although Google is ranked best employer to work for by Forbes, they are also ranked as tied for third with Mosaic when it comes to the most turnover, by Payscale.com. This is theorized to be due in part to the average employee age being 29 and not feeling vested within the company
·SAS Institute – SAS Institute not only took the third place ranking by Forbes for best company to work for but they also took the number one spot in low turnover rate with a 2% turnover for the year.
·Intel – Although Intel only ranked at 46 for best companies to work for overall, they came in at number two on the low turnover rate also boasting a 2% turnover rate.
·General Mills – Ranked 63 in the overall numbers, but third in the turnover list with only 3% turnover.
The remaining 9 companies listed in the 12 companies with the lowest turnover rate were, Hasbro, Atlantic Health, NuStar Energy, PCL Construction, Publix Super Markets, W. L. Gore & Associates, DPR Construction, Darden Restaurants, and Mercedes-Benz USA, in that order and all showing only a 3% turnover rate.
Looking at these statistics makes it very easily recognized that large companies such as Walmart, and Kroger may be expanding and taking the top retail company statuses, but their lack of associate training and inability to create an engaging work environment for their employees to feel vested within their company has left them off the list of places people want to work, and created a high employee turnover rate for them in general. This is where smaller companies can find their niche and compete better with the super giants. A better trained associate creates a better environment and happier customers, which in turn creates return customers. Taking the time to train staff to be experts at not only their jobs, but in regards to the company, makes all of us winners in the end, the employer, customers, and employees alike.