Why staff training is vital for GCC firms hoping to stay on top

Marcus Taylor, managing partner at Taylor Sterling Associates, explains why staff training and development programmes are necessary for regional employers looking to get ahead of the curve

COMMENT, Business

The need for a well-structured development strategy is often overlooked by the majority of business owners due to concerns around cost and resources, but to focus on it is vital if you want to stay ahead of the curve.

Given the current state of the market, business owners, particularly those in the UAE, understandably need to ensure that every penny counts, but it is time they view employee development as an investment rather than a cost.

Setting up an employee development fund will not only help companies get the most out of their new recruits, it will also create a significant impact upon the efficiency of business operations. A well-structured employee development programme will effectively create a pool of capable workers and increase your reputation as an employer of choice.

An employee development programme is often viewed as an added benefit, which also means job seekers are more likely to apply for the vacant role you are advertising, having considered the pros and cons of the position. Investing in employee development will give businesses a competitive edge over others advertising similar roles – showing employees you are willing to invest in their future helps to build much-needed loyalty.

Keeping employees engaged at work is another common challenge faced by many employers. Boredom at work can be the root cause of negative attitudes and sloppy work habits that may rub off on other employees and damage a company’s relationships with key clients. Employee development is a good way to keep employees engaged and ambitious about their development in the company.

Giving employees something to look forward to and removing them from the mundane everyday routine will have a positive impact on their productivity levels. Investing in the development of your employees is a positive way to ensure a strong future for your business, and by doing this, you are reinforcing the skills of your future decision-makers – as your business and team continue to develop together, providing training programmes will motivate your company to consider the future and plan ahead. The more frequently training programmes are introduced, the greater the opportunity employers have to really learn about their employees and what the best methods of communicating with them might be.

Despite the clear benefits of employee training programmes, many companies in this region are still reluctant to invest time and money into developing their staff. There remains a fear that employees completing these programmes, at great expense to their employers, will immediately start to look for another better-paying role. Local businesses feel that their competitors will ultimately reap the benefits of all of their hard work and investment by poaching their best, brightest and most developed staff. While this may occasionally be the case, employers must conquer this fear and look at the bigger picture.

The construction market is still relatively unstable, although it is showing signs of improvement. Many people arriving to the region or changing roles here do not enjoy frequently moving from one company to another.

In fact, most people would prefer to join a company and stay there, growing together. Top talent will be more attracted to companies that offer training and development programmes. These A-players are more likely to stay loyal to a company that sees and nurtures the potential in them.

Employee development and training programmes should be targeted at all levels of an organisation. When implemented correctly, the benefits can result in significant growth at both individual and organisational levels. While this can bring you great return on investment and other benefits, it is still not enough to drive a company’s success in the long-term. In order to ensure the success of a business and conquer new markets, make sure your employees receive not only training, but also plenty of appreciation along the way.

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