Why Training People Leads to a More Innovative Business

02/05/2016 20:32

AAT recently commissioned a study into the mood of the UK's workforce and how people felt they were performing in their roles.

The results were surprising and showed that four out of ten people feared they would be found out at work for not being as able to do their job as their bosses and co-workers thought they were. However, the research also revealed the majority (84 percent) were mostly happy in their chosen role suggesting the issue is really to do with confidence rather than their actual job.

As someone who has worked in leadership roles for many years, currently as Chief Executive for AAT, the research showed me how much people care about doing a good job at work and made me question if there is more we can be doing to support them? There seems to be a gap between how people see themselves versus how other people see them and are being harsh critics of their own abilities.

An obvious answer to me is to ensure employees receive regular training so they feel supported and challenged. Workplaces are continually evolving and we all need to change with them making sure our skills stay relevant in an ever-changing environment.

My thoughts are backed up by the research. 48 percent of those surveyed said they felt they were in a job they perhaps weren't sufficiently qualified for. Unsurprisingly six out of ten workers expressed a desire for more on the job training to be made available.

Training is often viewed as only applicable for learning new skills and so employers do not always deem it necessary for some roles. The reality is that training delivers so much more. Absolutely, it builds new skills and increases knowledge - however, it also helps to reinforce the confidence in individuals, helping them to recognise their own capabilities.

At AAT, the professional qualification and membership body for accounting technicians, we have many students who come to study with us later in life. For some of them, this is the first time back in a classroom since their school days - an environment that may not have worked for them before. We often hear from students that initially they thought studying wasn't something they could do - but AAT helped them to realise their full potential. Taking the first step through training often leads to a successful finance career.

Training also helps us see new ways of doing things and encourages us to try new ideas. This is relevant throughout all of our careers regardless of how long we may have been working or how senior we are. Fresh ideas can lead to innovation, driving more efficient and effective work processes, renewing focus on customer needs and satisfaction, operating as an agile business capable of change and building a competitive advantage.

The more confident the employee is, the more likely they are to put ideas forward. The more ideas an organisation has - the more it can innovate. So, training should not just be seen as helping to increase the skills of your people - more as future proofing your business.