Staff training is essential for business sustainability | Sunday Observer

Staff training is essential for business sustainability

Virtually, every entrepreneur knows the significance of staff training for the sustainable growth of a business. However, while almost all big companies heavily concentrate on staff training and development, medium and small business entities in Sri Lanka largely ignore this salient need. Workforce training is an indispensable way to keep an organization competitive.

Staff training provides many benefits. Among them are subject knowledge and the motivational aspect and the encouragement it offers to the employee. A properly designed training program allows you to strengthen the skills and attitudes that each staff member needs to improve. This helps reduce any weak links within the company that rely heavily on others to complete basic work tasks.

As an experienced business executive, over the years I have observed a very clear training need in small and medium business establishments. Many of these entrepreneurs customarily pay no attention to the importance of the matter either due to ignorance or due to unawareness.

These businessmen do not realise that training has become the catchword in the Sri Lankan fiercely competitive market environment. The fact is that a professional and well trained team achieves short and long term benefits.

Periodical training programs boost morale of staff. Training helps the employee to get job security and job satisfaction. The more satisfied the employee is and the greater is his morale, the more he will contribute to organisational success. Feeling of inadequacy, underachievement, boredom and unfriendly negative outlook is dispelled. It also positively enhances productivity of the organisation.

I have singled out two key aspects, apart from the subject matter, in training in a business entity. Firstly, the attitude and approach of the staff towards the customer and secondly the overall selling performance of the entire staff. A sale is a collective effort although salesmen have the primary responsibility. Quoting an anonymous poem, Famous author who published ‘Who Dares Sell’ states “Selling is Everyone’s Business. When it is not you are in trouble”. This is an absolutely accurate and realistic declaration.

For instance, take the attitude of staff of any private Bank or Supermarket. Rarely a customer experiences a staffer with a negative outlook. They are cordial and helpful whenever a customer requires a service. Their standpoint to customer, irrespective of the job title, is comprehensively positive mostly as they are abundantly well trained in customer relations. This is applicable to most of the private business establishments.

The entire market comes up against a serious issue with regard to the availability of field sales staff. Youth today extends a totally lackluster approach to the profession. In good old days, when I was a sales representative, we were convinced by seniors that selling is a specialized profession with unlimited potential to make money and for career growth as well.

Many young men become salesmen today because of the amply available job opportunities in the market. However, vast majority of them ditch the job in a short time unless the employer makes a deliberate effort to encourage them and instill enthusiasm. Therefore, an effective induction program initially and useful subsequent periodical training programs will keep the all important sales force going successfully. There is a dire need for training of employees in any and every workplace whether it is big or small. Training improves staff capabilities, skills, knowledge and positive attitudes. Training makes the staffer more confident and positive and makes organization stay ahead of competition. 

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