The indirect benefits of training

The indirect benefits of training should be regarded as important.

Good training leads to improved skills and productivity gains. Good training leads to behaviour that matches the job and customer requirements.

But what about the indirect benefits? What messages do you give team members when you provide them with training opportunities?

The indirect (or intangible) benefits are often overlooked.

People like to feel valued. They like to feel important. Although managers should not treat training as a reward, staff members often see it as recognition, if not a reward. The messages received include:

  • “I am valuable.”
  • “The organisation cares about my development.”
  • “They are recognising me as a person.”
  • “They really do want me to learn.”

A lot depends on the type of training provided. As e-learning has become more prevalent, and the emphasis has tended towards technical competence and compliance requirements, the training has become less personal. Although important, this type of training will not have the same benefits unless there is a very high level of collaboration.

There is nothing better than being with your peers in a learning situation, whether they are your colleagues or people from different organisations who share similar needs and challenges. The opportunity to discuss and clarify thoughts and ideas really matters. Realising the similarities or differences that exist really aid understanding and learning.

When considering training solutions, face to face (training room) training may be a better option. Unless e-learning is very sophisticated with lots of collabouration opportunities, or distance cannot be overcome, the indirect benefits of face to face training should also be part of the training investment calculations. Time is a very precious resource. Training time should be well used.

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