With three quarters of 2013 behind us, budgets are getting smaller and financial institutions are starting to look at which expenses they can shift to next year. Will external training be one of the first line items your financial institution delays? Many businesses make that mistake, and it ends up affecting their bottom line in ways they never realize. Do not let this happen to your organization.Employee Training - 1

Nobody has to tell you that your employees need training. Someone in every business knows if your employees can’t serve the customers or members, they won’t be your customers or members much longer. However, many organizations fail to see the value of consistent, ongoing training, both internally and externally. Each has an important purpose.

It makes sense to provide internal training and policies, procedures and even systems. Nobody knows that stuff better than your people, and you no doubt have several experts on staff equipped to provide this training. External trainers have entirely different skill sets than many staff trainers. They tend to specialize in specific areas of business. They stay current on the business trends and methods which can help improve productivity, efficiency and even morale. They also don’t have the baggage that might exist. If Sally staff member was overlooked for a promotion she thought she deserved, she might not be receptive to training for the person who did get the job. External trainers have a more objective viewpoint and are able to motivate your employees in areas where internal trainers struggle.

Of course, training is more than teaching them how your financial institution operates and how they fit into those operations. Training employees also is about developing people. According to the American Society for Training and Development, the chance for ongoing development is one of the top five factors employees want to experience at work. The inability of an employee to see progress is often cited as a reason for leaving an employer.

When employees feel valued, they also have fewer absences, make fewer mistakes and contribute to an increase in employee morale.  

So where do you start? Developing a training plan for each job description in your organization helps. Every employee should take new hire orientation, necessary skills and systems training, information about your company culture and the like. Leadership training is a must for any employee with a desire to go into management or already in management. Being a leader
requires different skills than managing processes or employees. Managers who haven’t been taught the difference risk losing valuable employees for the organization. I actually offer a powerful leadership program which has proven successful at many different financial institutions.

Every training plan also should allow for professional development, whether the employee plans to stay in that position or plans to move up within the organization. This is the part of the training program which really makes employees feel valued, and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

For more in-depth information on internal and external training, including creative tips for keep training fresh and affordable, read the August issue of my monthly newsletter.