So, why is training is more important now than ever? The world of business is changing faster now than at any time in history. Having just come out of the worst Global recession since the 1930’s, it is fair to say that for many organisations, the Training and Development of their people during that time was limited, as it became all about survival. That means that there are a significant amount of people in the workforce who haven’t received the Training and Coaching that they need to fulfil their potential. Couple this with the boom in Millennials joining the workforce and it all adds up to a massive Training and Coaching need.
The reality is that by 2020, 50% of the workforce will be made up of Millennials or Generation Y (often defined as people born between 1980 and 2000) and by 2025, that figure will be 75%. It has been widely reported that this generation are committed to their personal learning and development and this remains their first choice benefit from employers.
The recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers titled Millennials at work, reshaping the workplace is a fascinating read and I believe should be a wake-up call to those organisations that are indifferent to the ongoing need to offer a program of training and development to their employees, it highlights:
Millennials expect to keep on learning as they enter the workplace and spend a high proportion of their time gaining new experiences and absorbing new information. 35% said they were attracted to employers who offer excellent training and development programmes for this reason and saw it as the top benefit they wanted from an employer.
It goes on that Millennial’s ease with technology means that they respond well to a range of digital learning styles and delivery methods, which might include online learning modules, webinars or interactive game play. They are innately collaborative and accustomed to learning in teams and by doing. A one sided lecture is less likely to hold their attention.
The best training programmes will mix classroom instruction, self directed study, coaching and group learning.
Those organisations that embrace Training and Coaching and listen to the learning needs of their employees are setting themselves up very nicely for ongoing success.
I had a terrific conversation with a building materials supplier last week, who admitted that just over 5 years ago they had a real problem with staff retention, external training wasn’t in their DNA and because of their reputation in the market of not holding onto people, by virtue they struggled to attract the type of employee that they wanted. It was at that point that they decided that they needed external help and they engaged the assistance of an external training company. They were amazed at the positive take up from their staff and a culture of “being the best that they could be” in all areas of their business began to grow.
It was at that point that they decided to go for Investors in People status. Despite many challenges along the way, they not only gained the Investor in People Accreditation, but last year they achieved Gold Status. In that time, they had changed from an organisation that had struggled to attract anyone into their business, to one that over the last 3 years has not had to spend a penny on external advertising or recruitment, as they have a talent pool of people that were constantly knocking on their door, wanting to join them.
The cost of implementing that People Development structure and ongoing programme, compared to the vast amounts of money they had been spending on recruitment, coupled with the significant uplift in their sales results that a skilled, trained and motivated sales force were delivering was tiny in comparison. Naturally in wanting to keep their training fresh and inventive, they can’t wait to meet us at Sales Activator. The feeling is mutual and let’s hope, for the future well-being of business in this Country, that with the learning and development appetite of Millennials, that are growing in number every day, that we have reached a watershed moment in People Development and every company will seriously start to invest in their greatest asset- THEIR PEOPLE.
Colin is our Business Development Manager at Sales Activator. He regularly posts to Linkedin and Twitter, follow him to read more articles like this one, or get in touch email@example.com