Money on your mind? Not while training staff - Business Works
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Money on your mind? Not while training staff

Kevin Young, General Manager, Skillsoft EMEA recall former Prime Minister Gordon Brown voicing concern that UK organisations were planning to cut their training budgets a few years ago. At the time I remember thinking; how can businesses even consider slashing investment in training and development at a time when they need it the most? The UK, and London in particular, has a proud history of attracting the best talent from around the world, but leaving that talent to stagnate might threaten this status, meaning that the UK will potentially lose ground to its competitors.

Fast forward to 2012 and thankfully UK organisations donít appear to have gone down this route, recognising the false economy of cutting training budgets, despite a challenging financial climate. This was confirmed by over 500 UK CEOs we questioned recently who placed a high value on investing in training. In fact, an overwhelming 87% admitted that the cost aspect of training is not a major concern, with a third of bosses actually planning to increase training budgets by more than 10% over the coming year.

These predictions of greater investment in training and development are great news for employees, who will develop better skills to use on the job, allowing them to become an increasingly valuable asset and boosting their chances of moving up the ranks. Furthermore, should they choose to move on to pastures new, they will be able to present a CV overflowing with extra qualifications and expertise that should make them an attractive candidate for any future employer.

Managers too are very aware of the positive effects learning can have, with a recent Chartered Management Institute study showing that only five per cent of Chartered Managers qualified in order to chase a pay rise. It is great to see managers leading by example, appreciating the value in continual professional development and showing that even senior management still have new skills to learn to become even better managers, benefiting the team and organisation as a whole.

Training budgets appear to be surviving the tightening of belts that has happened over the last few years, with the majority of businesses resisting the temptation to give HR budgets the chop. Training is and should always be a vital investment for any company, but I strongly urge all organisations to make sure their training budgets work hard and produce the results the company needs for each employee at every level. An engaged workforce is one that will stick together and achieve results.

The organisations that take the time to develop staff will be the ones that navigate a course through choppy waters and make it back to harbour. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Skillsoft publishes a wide range of whitepapers which you may also find interesting.

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