As Marketing Director for Arden University, I recently had the pleasure of judging the ‘Best Places to Work’ category at this year’s UK Business Awards. There were some fantastic finalists and it was great to see how each company creates a unique and positive culture for their people. In my experience, one of the most effective ways to engage and motivate a workforce is to invest in their ongoing professional development. Providing your staff with training opportunities not only benefits each employee, but the company as a whole, too.

There are endless ways in which providing the chance to expand upon existing knowledge and skillsets can foster a happier working environment; let’s consider a few.

Significant lift in morale

Telling your employees they’re an important part of the company and showing them that they are, are two entirely different things. What better way to prove their importance than to invest some time and money into their development? Investing in staff training will undoubtedly lead to a boost in morale across the company; it shows that you recognise your employees’ potential and value them as individual members of your team. Assisting your staff in career advancement will motivate them to improve their performance, and generally make them happier in the workplace.

According to research, 57% of employees are interested in receiving training to achieve progression within their current place of employment.

Improved performance

If you select the right type of training for your employees then it will most certainly lead to a significant improvement in their performance at work. The knowledge and skills they will acquire from taking part in training – whether it’s a week’s worth of intense learning or a long-term programme delivered over a year or two – will help them feel more confident in their role. With confidence comes a stronger performance and improved delivery against targets, no matter what your company is striving to achieve.

Opportunity for progression

It’s only natural for individuals to seek some form of progression at work; knowing that there are opportunities to advance gives employees something positive to focus on. Providing staff with relevant training should support opportunities to climb the ranks or take on additional responsibilities, which can be highly motivating.

Professional and financial progress are common ambitions, and offering your employees the chance achieve them within the company can be a real win-win. A recent LinkedIn survey of more than 10,000 people showed that the majority leave their jobs to achieve career advancement.

Boosted brand reputation

If the provision of training opportunities leads to a satisfied workforce, this in turn will lead to a boost in your company’s reputation. One of the greatest methods of marketing is word of mouth – if an employee is happy at work, it’s likely that they’ll spread the word amongst, friends, family and acquaintances. Provision of training is one of the leading contributing factors to workplace satisfaction, so once word gets out, you may soon be seen as a more desirable employer.

Attracting talent is important to business success, and if you’re seen as a reputable employer, the candidates you attract will likely be of a higher calibre.

Staff loyalty

It’s simple: if your employees are happy to work for your company, they will probably stay with you for the foreseeable future. Staff loyalty is something all businesses should work toward, and investing in your employees’ future with your company can be a great way to build your relationship with them. Of course, this can also reduce staff turnover, saving the business both time and money. Figures from a recent study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, a professional HR body, showed that almost one in four workers were looking to leave their jobs because of the failure of managers to engage and retain staff.

You may have concerns; do you have the finances to cover the cost of an educational programme? Can you afford to allow your staff time away from the office? To answer your doubts, yes you do, and yes you can.

At Arden University, we offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, all with a strong business focus and all highly likely to provide a great return on investment. We also specialise in distance learning, so sponsoring your staff to study with us provides them with the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and business acumen without taking time away from the office.

Consider what’s in the best interest of your employees, and there you will find what is also in the best interests of your business. A happy workforce is the driving force behind creating a great working environment and a great working environment will almost certainly lead to success.

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