The importance of training your employees

We never stop learning. At every stage of life we are learning and evolving. It is also important that we provide ongoing training opportunities to our employees to ensure they will be able to continue to meet the changing needs of their role and of the business.

Without ongoing and relevant training, employees may not be able to perform the requirements of their role and over time they will become less productive, unengaged with colleagues, customers and the business as well as put themselves at risk by unsafe practices and interactions.

Training within the business setting can provide a range of different opportunities for employees as well as managers and leaders. Below are some of the opportunities that can be offered; 

Compliance training; offers initial and refresher training, generally every three years, to cover employee behaviours and conduct.  It includes privacy, anti discrimination, fraud and child safe standards.

Role specific training; covers internal processes such as writing style guides and conducting performance reviews.  It also covers systems based training including microsoft suite, finance or human resources and incident reporting. This type of training is useful for new employees, refresher training for infrequent users or for those that are looking to progress their career. 

Certifications and licences; are mandatory, generally require regular renewal and are specific to the type of role. Some examples are first aid, food handlers, and working at heights. As well as drivers licence, heavy rig licence or a white card.

Leadership and management training; will set your leaders and people managers up for success by assisting them to communicate effectively, grow and support employees, achieve business goals and be able to manage difficult situations.

Some businesses find it difficult to get employees to attend training or struggle with resourcing while employees are away from the office. However there are many methods for learning which can be tailored to suit any type of learner, time allocation and budget. 

Below are some examples of how training can be offered:

Coaching and mentoring; can be provided from someone internal or external to the business, on an informal basis, or an employer may offer an organised program. Individuals can work with their coach or mentor to work through specific skills required in their current role or to support growth into another role.

Formal training; or qualifications are run through registered training organisations  (RTO) such as universities, tafes or private organisations. At the end of the course employees will obtain a certificate, degree, graduate diploma, or masters.

Informal training; can vary from short courses over a few days, an online webinar, and one on one training with another employee to learn a process.

Self-paced training; can be simply listening to a podcast, reading a book or article or through experiential learning.

Regardless of the type of training, employers should keep track of employee training and where possible seek updated copies of relevant certifications and licences that are mandatory for a role.

Note: It is the requirement of employees to advise their employee if their certification or licence is suspended or expires.

In addition to role specific training requirements, employees might want to identify opportunities that will support them in progressing their career, for example, presentation skills, people management, and report writing, or an area of interest, for example, creative writing and ceramics.

Businesses are encouraged to work through individual requests for training and determine what support can be offered to attend the training, including paying for the course, study leave or flexibility in hours.

For assistance with developing an annual training calendar, assessing training needs or methods for tracking licence and certificate renewals contact Small Business Society.

The information provided in this document is for your guidance only and is general in nature. It does not constitute as legal advice. It is the responsibility of the individual to seek legal advice where required.


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About Kate Tongue

Kate Tongue is the founding Director of Small Business Society.

She is a qualified and experienced Human Resources professional with more than 10 years of experience across the private and public sectors.

Her particular interest and experience is in managing the employee life cycle, delivering process improvements, and Human Resource strategy.


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