The simple answer is yes. Yes, there is a direct connection between the training of an employee and their ability to perform their job in an efficient manner. Training is an investment of time and money which is often questioned, and while those passionate about training can provide endless reasons why adequate training shouldn’t be overlooked in the operational process, those skeptical about the training process can be quick to reject the ROI. A quick LinkedIn search will deliver countless examples of the positive impacts of training within successful organizations. Let’s take a broad view that is applicable to any organization and make a logical CASE for implementing training initiatives: Confidence, Accuracy, Safety and Effort.
Confidence. A well-trained associate is a confident and productive associate. They are equipped to accept challenges beyond their comfort zone in the quest to maximize production and profitability. They have the ability to give qualitative and quantitative feedback, because they fully understand the process at hand. They are secure enough in their capabilities to think beyond the way things have always been done to innovate process improvements. A relatively insignificant investment in training, in comparison to the high cost of turnover, has the potential to empower your workforce by partnering their skillset with the confidence that they know—and you both know—the depth and detail of their abilities.
Accuracy. Accuracy on the job can be compared to accuracy in basic driving navigation. Think of your driving path as a spaghetti diagram and imagine what your diagram looked like when the most accurate tools available were a paper map, then a MapQuest printout. Your accuracy was likely mediocre. Now, mobile tools like Waze and Google Maps provide specific, real-time directions delivering you exactly to your destination. Your accuracy has greatly improved! How could some basic training—step-by-step instructions that are reinforced—improve the accuracy of changeovers, formulations, specifications, regulations and installations?
Safety. Safety training is regulated. Therefore, it happens, and it is documented. When an employee is injured on the job, the employer can be held accountable. Who is accountable when a poorly trained employee is inefficient on the job? What about when they damage the equipment or product due to lack of training? Companies that are passionate about safety invest a little more to ensure they have the best training programs to keep their people aware and safe. Those accountable for production and operational efficiency should be making the same investment in training.
Effort. A well-trained athlete attacks each aspect of the offense and defense in the quest for victory, and they can focus that effort because they know what they are doing. Knowing the end goal, as well as the tactics and techniques to achieve that goal, the athlete is motivated to apply maximum effort. How many practices do athletes participate in before they are game-ready? Employees that lack training are given few practices before being put in the game. This can lead to misdirected effort, low motivation, and lack of clarity regarding the end goal.
Back to the original question, “Is there a connection between training and efficiency?” Yes is the clear answer. Proper training improves workplace accuracy and safety, which ultimately bolster employee confidence and effort, making the CASE confirmed that training does improve efficiency.