TRAIN to be COMPETITIVE

Slogan for the Modern Company – “TRAIN to be COMPETITIVE”

Musings of a training professional….

There are “We are hiring!” signs almost everywhere you look.  Service and manufacturing industries are feeling the pinch a bit harder as they compete for skilled personnel.  With retirement predicted to increase key position vacancies, the ability to hire and retain experienced individuals is shrinking at a faster rate. Coupled by higher operating costs in almost every segment of operations, it is bound to effect productivity gains as well as bottom line numbers for many organizations that are already working to curtail overseas competition.

In the midst of all these circumstances, organizations are now reaching out to anyone and everyone that can show eagerness to work.  “Come work for us and we will train you” is becoming a standard slogan on billboards and job posting sites.  Can you trust that these companies have a well-formatted onboarding process, along with some level of a defined training roadmap that will raise the new employee’s competence? The need will be to keep up with the implementation rate of automation that is being incorporated within the organization, partially driven to offset the need for a skilled workforce.

Does training matter? My first employer in the late 90’s had mandated 150 hrs. of training per year for contract employees and 300 hrs. for direct hires.  My second employer, 700 miles farther north, had almost an open check book policy for training, provided it was proven to be useful for day-to-day job responsibilities, as well as professional growth.  Both organizations are leaders in their respective industrial segments and arguably their focus on training yielded this return on investment.

The challenge that will still stay with us for the near future is “How long can a well-trained new hire be retained?” Questions that arise: Are there enough credentialing processes which are supported by industry recognized certifications to promote an employee’s professional growth?  Is the company’s culture evolving to set forth expectations that ensure safety, security, and well-being?  One piece to the solution puzzle is a culture of training. While not guaranteeing that an employee will remain when receiving proper training, statistics show that investing in the employee will improve overall job satisfaction and increase their likelihood at being a long-term contributor.

The objective is to not only have an educated workforce comprised of traditional two-year technical colleges and four-year degree program graduates, but also experienced personnel with the capacity for correct forward thinking. Thinking that will correctly predict where the company needs to steer, not only to remain competitive, but to be a strategic player in those markets in which they choose to compete.

With human capital as a valuable resource, a change in mindset to “TRAIN TO BE COMPETITIVE” should be the new norm as we evolve to be even more technologically advanced and have to wrestle with the resulting complexities!!  A well-crafted training solution supported with an equally instrumented implementation plan has and will surely stand the test of time.

Anish Shah, QC Training Services

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