Learning and Training Beyond the Classroom


At a college graduation, I was introduced to a young man who had just earned an MBA. As I was congratulating him on his wonderful accomplishment, he said something chilling to me. “I’m so sick of studying. I swear that I’m never going to read another book in my life.” He was quite satisfied that the education he just completed had filled his knowledge chest with all the skill sets he needed to succeed in the business world. He was set for life.

If this new MBA recipient remains true to his word, he will start falling backwards in his career from his first day on the job. The most important lesson that he should have learned in school is that in order to be successful, he must continuously learn over the course of his entire career. Everything in the world is in a constant state of change, and in order to move forward, people must be willing to learn new skills in order to navigate these changes.

Medical board certification, as an example, requires continuous training on advances in specific medical fields; attorneys must remain current on new precedents established in case law. as well as new statutory legislation; accountants must keep up with changes in tax laws and regulations; even licensed beauticians must complete a required number of hours training each year to maintain their licenses.

Companies who want their employees to be fully productive and be able to drive the business forward, must make sure their employees are presented with continuous training and learning opportunities. Additional training is necessary to prepare the workforce to adapt quickly to changes in the market and stay relevant in their skills.

Here are some compelling benefits to companies who provide ongoing training and development for their workforce:

Keep up with industry changes

Technological changes within an industry, new product innovations, innovative business practices of competitors, and compliance with new regulations can be learned through ongoing training, making sure your staff’s skills and knowledge are up-to-date.

Help to identify weaknesses and skill gaps within the workforce

With regular training, a business owner can more easily identify any deficiencies in required skills within the existing workforce. By pinpointing these weaknesses early, inadequate skills can be brought up to standards so that employees can perform their role more effectively. Ongoing training will also help maintain the proficiency of these skills.

Knowledgeable staff invites corporate innovation

Employees who are more knowledgeable about their company and industry and who are accomplished within their job performance, are more likely to contribute creative ideas to help improve the company, and your business will reap the rewards.

Advanced level training leads to corporate expansion

As employees become more deft with their skills, a company can provide training with a  more advanced skill set for tasks that can lead to more innovative product lines or services, making the company more competitive.

Provides employees an incentive to learn and more opportunities for internal promotion

If training is provided as part of a longer development pathway, employees will have much more incentive to learn, participate in the session and put their new skills into practice. Employing new staff involves high recruitment costs and hiring fees. However, with ongoing training, your existing staff can become more eligible for internal promotions. Unlike new staff, you can guarantee that they have complete knowledge of your business, the correct skill set, and are people that you know and trust.

Increase job satisfaction levels

Through continued investment from the business, staff can have a much higher sense of job satisfaction, which will improve their motivation towards their work. This reduces employee turnover and increases productivity, which directly improves the profitability. It also prevents competitors from stealing your best employees by offering training incentives.

Attract new talent

All businesses want to have the best employees, and with ongoing training, this will not only mean better staff retention, but the business may also attract better talent from the start, as continued training gives the business a better image and is a key feature many people look for in their job search.

Business owners and top managers must also never stop learning. More than anyone, these top echelon people must always be vigilant to changes surrounding them and be willing to study the implications of ongoing innovation. Successful business models are always being expanded and modified. Owners must learn how to do it successfully.

Training costs may be substantial, but when measured against increased employee performance, company morale and a continued focus on corporate vision, the benefits of ongoing training far exceed the dollars spent.