Whether you’re managing a small team, or in charge of human resources for a whole organisation, having staff that are well-prepared to meet the demands of their roles is both a priority and a challenge.
Of course, hiring talented people in the first place helps, but is it enough? What about the idiosyncrasies of the business, and of particular teams? The requirements of your roles are at least slightly different from those anywhere else, so you need to make sure your staff are ready to meet your goals and work towards your vision.
Let’s look at some different types of training that should be given to employees across the organisation.
Before we get into more specific types of training, let’s focus on the training that all employees should receive. Each new starter should be properly inducted when they join, to make sure they have a clear idea of how the organisation works, and the rules and regulations they’ll be expected to follow.
This includes a number of essentials such as health and safety, equality and diversity, IT policies, and general HR procedures.
As well as this, each staff member will need a thorough introduction to their particular role, a clear idea of the objectives of the team and the whole organisation, and ideally the opportunity to shadow a colleague in a similar role.
It’s surprising how many new starters are left to work everything out for themselves, under the assumption that they should be able to hit the ground running. It’s important to remember that no matter how experienced someone is, their new role won’t be exactly the same as what they’ve done previously, and even very senior people need support.
The best way to ensure your whole organisation is developed in line with broader goals is to prepare your management team to implement this properly.
Managers are often promoted from operational roles with little formal training to support with the transition. One of the key skills that is left undeveloped, therefore, is the ability to offer individualised support to team members, helping to both engage them and progress them in the right ways.
This is just one of many skills you should be nurturing in your leaders, alongside things like strategic planning and financial management.
To ensure your managers are able to fulfil their own potential, and support others to do the same, consider a leadership and management mentoring programme that is certified by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
Your organisation is probably made up of lots of very specific functions, but finance is likely the most important in terms of getting it right. There is little room for error in the world of finance, and untrained staff can have a huge impact on factors from supplier relationships to cash flow.
While for most functions such as marketing, human resources and operations, it’s not necessary for each team member to be qualified, finance is different. Without well-recognised accounting qualifications, staff won’t be up-to-date with current best practice, and will have knowledge gaps that could result in damaging mistakes being made.
It can also be a good idea to equip staff in other areas of the business with finance training where they frequently need to deal with financial issues.
Depending on the specific responsibilities of each team member, there are a number of qualifications that could be ideal. The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification gives those with no or few previous qualifications a thorough grounding in fundamental accounting knowledge and skills. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a must-have for those in management accounting roles, and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) builds on basic knowledge, covering advanced practices relevant to more senior professionals.
Entry level training
Many hiring managers exclusively look for those who already hold all of the relevant skills and experience. However, there’s a lot to be said for taking on those with less experience, and overseeing their training yourself.
Employing school leavers or those with similar levels of experience means you’re bringing fresh minds into the business, untainted by the different demands and procedures found in other workplaces. This presents a blank canvas, allowing you to develop staff whose skills and knowledge are centred around the needs of your organisation.
A great way to do this is to take on an apprentice. With the apprenticeship levy soon to be introduced, it’s a good idea to start thinking about how to integrate apprenticeships into your broader recruitment, training and development plan.