You have read or heard a million times that a company’s competitive advantage in today’s current economic climate depends on its people’s skills and talents. You have also heard platitudes like ‘people are our most important asset’ but when times are tough the first line item that gets yanked from the budget or put on hold funnily enough is always training.
“This kind of thinking just doesn’t make any sense but we see it time and time again”, says Alusani Skills & Training Network®’s MD Imogen Tarita. “Although many companies consider training a good investment there are others who are simply hesitant to spend money on training employees just in case they move on and take the knowledge gained elsewhere but on the flipside and think about this, what if you don’t invest in your talent and they stay…what is the impact to your organisation then?”
Internationally-renowned HR Guru Dave Ulrich said – “competent employees have the skills they need. Committed employees deploy these skills regularly and predictably”. This quote is quite apt because it means that you probably already have the talent that you need in your company so you don’t need to rush out and recruit new talent but what you need to consider is, how do you get the best out of the talent that you already have?
So as some senior executives continue to agonise over the bottom line and bemoan any investment in training, their employees are realising that because they aren’t being trained they may not be reaching their full potential where they are currently employed and so they start looking for employment elsewhere with someone that will train them.
Like Ourobos (the Greek symbol of infinity), think of the picture of the dragon eating his tail and creating a never-ending circle, this stand-off between management and employees over training is a vicious cycle and quite frankly someone needs to blink first and break the deadlock. In short, if companies want to progress then one of the quickest and easiest ways to make your employees feel valued is to train them.
The ongoing skills shortage in South Africa leaves many industries extremely vulnerable to technical risk. This means that decisions fall to relatively inexperienced people who do not have the correct technical skills.
Let’s consider Engineers for a minute. It takes up to fifteen years for an Engineer to be sufficiently experienced to serve in a managerial capacity. Developing appropriate development plans, mentoring and coaching and training to grow this talent from Graduate to effective Engineer is going to be critical in the future.
Offering training programmes is an essential component in increasing and retaining the valuable skills required to keep the mining industry sustainable. Training courses are important as they can assist Engineers to get-up-to speed quickly with any given subject.
“The benefits of short training courses are literally instantaneous”, says Tarita, “if you want to make a big impact quickly then sending your Engineers on a university course isn’t going to show immediate results but a 2 or 3 day course will do the trick in many cases.”
When it comes to improving your employees’ skills it seems that there really is no substitute for a ‘live’ training course. By interacting with a roomful of your peers and having the opportunity to ask questions of subject matter experts and examine real-world applications of the information you’re covering really helps to cement new knowledge learned.
The trick is to spend your training money wisely, Alusani Skills & Training Network® offers over 175 courses in 19 different categories and we are a Level 2 B-BBEE value adding supplier. We also offer Post Course Support for 12 months after the training course free of charge and are accredited with the Services Seta as well as offering a variety of CPD-validated training courses.