Do you think of the cost associated with the training, or the efficiency increase you might generate with having a more skilled workforce? Perhaps the phrase reminds you that you haven’t performed a skills analysis and have no training plan in place?
Or do you immediately jump to adding up the time people will be spending away from business activities if they undertake training?
Rather than jumping straight to the points listed above, why not take a different perspective and look at business training and upskilling as an investment in your business and people, which, as a result, can boost your competitiveness and increase your growth potential?
No matter what training programme you are initiating, it is essential that it aligns and enables your business vision, strategy, and goals. To support this, you should perform a skills gap analysis and identify the areas which need developed so that you’re not only de-risking the business from an operational perspective, but also creating an ecosystem that supports you to take on all current and future projects that may be open to you.
Let me ask you another question: when you hear the phrase ‘business training and upskilling’ do you automatically think of training everyone else in the business and not your own personal upskilling and/or that of the business leadership team?
Business leaders can often be quick to recognise the benefits of providing training to their teams, for example, via training in new processes or the latest software. This is mainly because we can associate it with an increase in efficiency or the ability to offer a new service, benefits that we can align with targets and metrics.
However, it’s not always recognised that there are significant business benefits to be gained by continuously investing in the development of its leaders. It can also be challenging to associate targets and success measures when upskilling leaders as the skills you may be developing fall within the ‘softer’ skills arena.
There are various organisations that can help support the development of business leaders, for example, the Institute of Directors (IoD). As someone who has attended IoD courses, from a business leader’s perspective they elevated my knowledge by opening my mind to new concepts, new methods, and new perspectives, as well as providing an opportunity to meet other likeminded professionals who are now part of my professional support network.
The new skills and knowledge that I gained from these courses has enabled me to add new and additional value to Pinnacle Growth Group, and our clients.
Business owners and leaders should also recognise the positive role that Invest Northern Ireland can play in their business.
For example, the various training and upskilling supports that they can provide can play a key role in the development of business skills and capabilities.
So, no matter your age or experience, business scale or sector, you can always learn new skills and acquire new knowledge that can develop your confidence personally and professionally, but also help your business to achieve a position that means it’s able to access new and profitable opportunities.
Dr Scott King is co-founder of Pinnacle Growth Group, a business advisory firm based in Lisburn. Scott is experienced in advising organisations in logistics, aerospace and aviation, tourism and agri to food and drink, construction, renewables and defence.
If you would like to talk about transforming your business for the future in more detail, email Scott at: [email protected]
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