Train to gain

By: Jack Ford

Date: 10 October 2011

Jack Ford of the Sage UK Small Business Team

Sage runs UK-wide training courses to ensure our customers maximize the benefits from their software. Increasing your employees’ skills through training can benefit their professional them and your business.

Too many businesses see training as something they can cut back on to save money. A recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development suggested smaller firms valued learning and development less highly than larger businesses.

You may be reluctant to spend money on something you perceive to be a luxury, especially in these tough economic times, but research by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills shows that in the last recession businesses that invested in their people’s skills were two-and-a-half times more likely to survive.

Training can bring about an increase in productivity, profits, motivation, loyalty and greater customer satisfaction. “It makes employees feel they’re more valued and they’re more likely to engage with their work as a result,” says HR advisor Ann Haydock. “They’re more likely to stay with your business, too – saving you time and money on recruitment.”

There are no legal requirements to train, but certain regulations encourage companies to foster a training environment. John McGurk, CIPD advisor for learning and talent, says: “The regulations on allowing time-off for training are like the flexible working regulations; a light-touch ‘nudge’ aimed at helping people to increase their training and development. We see it as a sensible step in encouraging individual employees to play their part in developing their own skills and talents within the competitive workplace.”

Jack Ford is part of the Small Business Team at Sage UK, Start Up Donut sponsor and provider of payroll and online accounting software to small businesses.