Survey: Workers want on-site training

Many companies believe that they're maximizing efficiency by sending their employees to seminars and training sessions off-site, but workers strongly prefer on-site programs, according to a new study released by OfficeTeam.

According to the results, over 39 percent of workers prefer on-site training sessions led by in-house instructors. Reimbursed off-site training seminars received 32 percent of the vote, with the remaining options (reference books and online courses) collecting less than 20 percent each. 

"Professionals need to continually adapt to industry developments and expand their abilities so their job skills remain relevant," noted OfficeTeam executive director Robert Hosking, insinuating that one of the most important parts of finding and keeping valuable employees is offering them worthwhile training options. 

However, employers are struggling to keep up with their employees' standards. Only two-thirds of those who responded to the survey offered even a minimum of on-site training sessions, leaving over 30 percent of the workforce with a complete lack of the training they prefer. And over 10 percent of businesses admitted they offer no training options whatsoever, undoubtedly setting them backwards in terms of morale and employee retention.

"If their employer does not offer training options," Hosking noted, "workers should look for outside learning resources."

Improve your employees skills with meticulous training programs
While their preferences vary, it's clear that almost all prospective employees put a lot of value into training programs. No doubt, businesses are focused on making sure each new employee is trained to complete their responsibilities, but providing employees with bare-minimum levels of support will leave them unhappy, and unprepared. Such shortcuts only damages bottom lines.

Here are some tips to help you augment or improve your training program – and which, in turn, will allow you to get the most out of your workforce. 

Tip #1: Start a mentorship program
Training sessions are a good way to introduce new employees to your workforce, but it makes the mistaken assumption that they'll learn everything they need to know in an extremely short amount of time.

By assigning a compatible "mentor" to each new worker, owners can ensure that there's a support system in place to answer any of their questions and help them out of any problems, regardless of how long they've been working at their position. (It'll also help improve worker-to-worker communication, an important aspect of workplace morale.)

"Mentoring leads people to feel more supported. If they're happy employees, the clients are happier, and that leads to more referrals and more revenue," testified Chris Smith, a founding partner at business consulting firm Arryve, to "We see a linear flow of how mentoring drives our bottom line … why wouldn't you do it? There's no downside."

Tip #2: Foster an open corporate culture
One of the hardest parts about settling into a new profession – risk management jobs, private equity jobs, hedge fund jobs, or anything else – is learning and acclimating to the corporate culture. Each office has its own codes, its own way of doing things, and its own standards-and-practices.

A mentoring program can offer a new employee someone to look to and emulate in their behavior, but that likely won't be enough for them to become fully comfortable with their new culture. Extensive introductory tours and daily meetings, combined with mentorship options, will allow workers to settle into their new corporate homes with aplomb, and at a very fast rate.

A new employee is only as good as the training they're offered. Businesses need to offer intensive and consistent training programs – lest they lose the value of their most valuable new hires.