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Business energy provider, Love Energy Savings surveyed more than 1,400 people and found that almost half of them (49%) didn’t believe that their employer was offering them enough learning and development opportunities.

The week commencing 15th May 2017 marks the start of Learning at Work Week. The week encourages businesses of all shapes and sizes to come up with a plan on how to extend training programmes to all their employees.

In honour of Learning at Work Week, Love Energy Savings aims to educate SMEs on the importance of training and development in the workplace, and how to make it a key focus of your business strategy.

1) Better employee performance

This almost goes without saying, but of course any employee who receives training to further their skills and education will be able to perform their job better. This applies to all sectors, departments and levels of employees within your business.

Through regular training programmes, you may also find that the confidence of your employees improves, as they are gaining a much stronger grasp on your industry, the purpose of the business and the responsibilities of their own job.

2) Wider understanding of the business

If your organisation is made up of multiple different departments, make sure you create a collaborative environment that encourages members of each team to learn from others. If one team is holding a training session, don’t be afraid to open it up to the wider business. You might be surprised at who wants to attend and learn a little more about an area of the business they weren’t involved with at all.

If your staff can see the wider picture, they’ll naturally feel more accountable and driven to achieve your company’s overarching goals.

3) Lower staff turnover

Some staff turnover within your organisation is normal. Many people would even say that it is healthy for an organisation to have fresh faces bringing new ideas to a business. But high staff turnover can mean great amounts of disruption and wasted money for your organisation. Investing in training is a far more effective way to spend your money (rather than on recruitment costs). By learning new things that will help their career development, your employees will feel more valued, and are therefore more likely to stay loyal.

4) Higher employee engagement

We’ve talked a great deal about the importance of employee engagement before, and it’s something that shouldn’t be underestimated. Nor should the impact that a lack of training and development can have on a person’s engagement and ambition. The majority of your employees will greatly value and appreciate the opportunity to learn – they want to work in a place where things feel fresh, rather than stagnant and uninspiring. If they’re doing the same thing day-in, day-out with no excitement on the horizon, their motivation levels will nosedive.

5) Develop the business

Regular training sessions ensure that your teams are staying ahead of the curve; perfect for any SME who is looking to beat the competition. Encourage your different departments to keep regular tabs on any developments in their particular niche and, if someone spots something particularly interesting, have them do a presentation on it for anyone else who is interested. This way you’ll always stay ahead of the curve, offering the very best service to your customers.

6) Improve your bottom line

Maintaining high levels of employee engagement is crucial to boosting your business’ bottom line, but better internal training also contributes in another way. It’s only logical that by improving your employees’ skills, whether that’s customer service or administration, they are going to be better at their jobs, which means more business for you.