Many companies only consider training for new employees, they fail to see the advantage of equipping their existing staff with added new skills which will increase their performance and thus enhance profits. If a company has valued and committed employees, it makes sense to hold on to them and reward their efforts with a training program which will help them to adapt to changes in their roles as they develop.

This allows companies to remain stable when staff leave or move up the corporate ladder as there will never be a shortage of qualified people to take over the reins when changes occur. Training programs also give managers the power to build a strongly, motivated team who can stay ahead of the competition. This reduces the need for supervision as employees build up confidence and respect for their roles and as such, become an even greater asset to the company.

For instance, providing your bookkeeper with an Excel training course will allow him to implement shortcuts which will simplify accounting techniques.

A training program also reduces company turnover as staff are more likely to stay if they have the opportunity to learn new skills and keep up to date with advancements. They also gain a sense of pride and self-fulfillment as they accomplish personal goals along the way. Training also makes a company more impressive in the eyes of potential new employees as people are often drawn to those who encourage growth. Companies who do not offer such incentives are more likely to lose staff as many will feel stuck in a rut. Staff are also likely to leave if they have difficulty understanding a process or receive little guidance.

In order to find a suitable training program, business owners should have a well defined strategy and list of objectives to point them in the direction of a training program that will accommodate their needs. Many managers fail to see the benefits of such training for fear that they will take up too much employee time, some remain skeptical about parting with a large sum of money and convince themselves that such knowledge is unnecessary.

A company needs to identify those sectors where training should be concentrated and source a training program which will accommodate those needs. It also needs to target key staff members who will be trained. By taking a look into where the company should be five years down the line, decisions can be made as to whether the investment will be worthwhile. A training course should clearly define which key skills will be covered through study and take an employee from where he is now to where you would like him to be several months or years ahead.

There are two types of training programs for companies who wish to expand their skill set.

Training on the job.

These lessons are delivered whilst the employee is performing his current duties. This enables them to maintain their daily routine whilst integrating a training program into their working day.

This could involve an employee being guided through a process step by step or being shadowed or assisted by someone who can pass on the knowledge that is needed. Other companies will expect a trainee to perform duties whilst being observed by a supervisor or trainer who will provide constructive feedback on performance.

Coaching is also an effective form of in-house training and equips the trainee with new skills that can be practiced before being implemented into the workplace. This gives him chance to develop these skills until they are used habitually. A timetable will update employees on their progression at various stages.

Training programs structured for in-house learning include apprenticeships, internships, job rotation and coaching. On the job training is often the responsibility of supervisors who pass on their knowledge to subordinates. To make a productive employee, they should have an understanding of how adults learn and know the best way to convey information. Supervisors can perfect this skill by attending their own training courses which show how to construct formal training programs for staff

Training off the job.

This is provided off site or in another area of the office. An employee will not perform regular work duties and training will be provided either by trainers who are employed within the company or as an external source.

This sort of training could be spread long-term over several months or as an intense form of study over a week or so. Courses can be sourced as a form of courses, home study, college attendance or night classes. Off the job training means that employees are placed in the hands of organizations who have extensive knowledge of a particular field.

Whilst training is in force, it is vital that progress is evaluated at various points along the way. By comparing the new skills which have developed with knowledge prior to study, it is easy to see if the program is making significant improvements. Any shortfalls should be addressed so as relevant changes can be made.

It is the type of training program that is implemented which will make the most dramatic difference to individual performance, group effort and company profits. When it comes to niche areas such as information technology, improvements have a way of spreading from the IT department right through to other non-specialized departments who also benefit from the skills which have been acquired from an IT training program. In many cases productivity continues to grow whilst training is still in progress. It is estimated that after a training course is completed, an employee's production rate increases twofold in comparison to staff who remain untrained but work within the same sector.

As technology continues to advance, IT should be considered a form of continued training to keep staff at peak levels of their performance. Keeping in step with advancement is a cost-effective way of developing a company which is filled with staff that have a 'can-do' attitude to whatever tasks they are faced with. So don't leave it to fate to decide whether your team should embark on a training program, take steps to ensure that every one is ready, willing and able to cope with the unexpected before it arrives.