In a business landscape that’s becoming increasingly preoccupied with increasing costs and challenges to remain competitive, investment in upskilling staff and an attention to employee satisfaction is something that firms should be putting to the top of their priority list.
This Learning at Work Week, Chief Executive Officer at Time Finance, Ed Rimmer, shares his thoughts on how businesses can benefit from a long-term strategy centred around investment in staff and the value of developing talent from within.
Why do you think creating learning opportunities for employees from within can play such a crucial role in supporting a business’ success?
At the heart of every thriving business is its staff, those who keep the cogs turning and dedicate their careers to their work. More often than not, businesses can stride forward in their growth plans and unknowingly neglect team development. Admittedly, businesses do have many plates to spin however, if they can devote time to employee wellbeing and learning, they can in turn help to solve the challenges faced as their industries continue to adapt.
When an industry is flipped on its head, as many felt during the pandemic, it requires agile thinking and this is where new skills are vital. Businesses can of course pay the necessary recruitment fees and fill their skills gap with new talent. But, better than this, they can develop their teams from within and not only meet their skills gap but provide progression opportunities and job satisfaction for current employees along the way.
It’s a no brainer for businesses of all sizes to provide ongoing learning opportunities and career advancements for their employees. Not only does a business save money on recruitment fees and training costs, but with staff retention comes a deeper understanding of the business and in this environment, firms are really able to flourish, whilst time and effort can also be minimised.
In which ways do you believe businesses most benefit from investing in training and employment schemes?
It goes without saying that when a company invests in training and employment, it's with team development in mind. That said, there are countless benefits to a company’s development that come alongside this.
Investing in your team benefits everything from boosting a company’s reputation, increasing its staff retention, and fuelling employee performance, to training future leaders and encouraging loyalty. A company can build a team that works together to drive the business forward by taking small steps along the way.
In your view, what are the most effective ways businesses can upskill from within and why is this valuable to overcome recruitment challenges?
Upskilling can come in a number of different ways - and at varying costs to a business. With free online training and knowledge sharing exercises, you can spread the expertise throughout at almost no cost to the business.
In the last few years, many businesses have moved to a hybrid or totally remote way of working, where communication is limited to just calls and emails. In these environments it’s vital that development does not falter and that all members of the team, particularly the junior members, are benefitting from contact time with senior members of staff in order to progress and widen their skill sets.
Training your managers and leaders to coach their teams for development and creating new projects and opportunities is a great way to promote continual learning. With encouragement in personal development, you can create a culture for growth, both professionally, personally and for the business.
Where a more detailed route is necessary, you can work with learning partners to provide course opportunities and in some cases, give access to undergraduate degrees. By doing so, you can bring back cutting edge ideas to your businesses and really make the difference between a stagnant business and a thriving one.
Do you think there is enough being done in the UK to encourage learning at work?
Whilst learning at work is something all businesses should practice, it doesn't come without its cost. And with the immense pressure and financial turmoil that UK SMEs are currently facing, finding the funds to cover these costs will prove challenging for most.
With very little government support available to businesses to invest in skills, many are turning to financial specialists like Time Finance. Via our funding routes: Invoice finance, Asset finance, Loans, Vehicle finance and Asset-Based Lending, businesses can unlock funds from within, releasing additional working capital, and giving them the financial freedom to invest in its teams.
By unlocking such funds companies are able to stay on top of their game, provide a competitive edge and thrive in a business landscape that is thirsty for agile thinking and innovation from its businesses.