Sharpening the Saw – why improving your staff benefits your business in lots of ways.
Years ago I attended a training session where I was told a story about ‘sharpening the saw’. In summary, the story was centred around a woodsman who is sawing away at a tree with a blunt saw. Another woodsman approaches and asks why he doesn’t sharpen his saw, he says he doesn’t have time and keeps at the tree. Whereas the smart woodsman takes the time to sharpen his saw and is able to cut down trees twice as quick and makes up the time spent sharpening in no time.
This is an allegory about training; keeping your skills sharp, adding to them and developing them is essential to working quickly, efficiently and productively.
First thing’s first – Do you train your staff?
There are lots of statistics about huge improvements training makes to your staff and how it can make your business better. However, as someone who has worked in the realm of developing people in the Creative, Digital and Marketing industries for the past 5 years this is what I have witnessed;
- People get better at being good at their job.
Fundamentally training helps and makes you better at what you do. There is a reason why top athletes, CEO’s and entrepreneur’s train all the time, be it their body, mind or soul. When I work with staff on the digital marketer course, I see them going from not understanding what a click rate is – to developing their campaign of display ads for their company, tracking and managing the click through rate. Not only is that awesome to see but, when it comes down to it, it improves the bottom line.
- People really, really….really appreciate it.
The thing is, when an employer trains an individual, yes you want to use their new skills, but subconsciously you are saying the following:
- We think you are worth the investment
- We want you to be a better person.
- We want you to have a great career.
And that means people often stay with you, even just for the duration of the course, but often, (85%) in our experience, staff stay for much longer.
- It improves your bottom line.
Big companies always train their staff, there is a reason for this; of course for the things I have mentioned above, but mainly because they eventually make money from it (and possibly for tax reasons). Eventually it means staff are able to confidently and skilfully take on more responsibilities. It means you can utilise the resources you already have.
- They go on to do more.
People feel they are ‘done’ with learning after school, but once they get a taste for it and start to develop, and put what they learn into practice, they realise that this really works. In turn this means they do more, and it just multiplies what we have mentioned before; they stay longer and get better.
So how can we help? Well of course we can develop your staff and we can help the government to pay for the majority of the costs and this is through apprenticeships. Firstly it’s important to get out of your head that apprenticeships are for people just starting out. Apprenticeships are work based learning, they come with professional qualifications, they are built to stretch the individual’s abilities and give them the tools to manage that professionally. They are work relevant.
Apprenticeships are also 95% funded by the government so, essentially, they are cheap.
If you want to find out how this can work for you company click here for our contact page and get in touch and arrange a meeting.