September 2014 | Sponsored | Thought Leaders

Boost Your Workforce’s Value Through Training and Mentoring

Tags: Labor Management

Kimberly Lorimer is Vice President, The Evans Network of Companies, 570-385-9048 ext. 3031

Q: What is a company's most important and most often neglected resource?

A: People are the number one resource a company has. Too often they are also the most neglected when it comes to improvements. Companies spend significant resources on trucks, trailers, and technology, but sometimes invest very little in their human capital. Keep your workforce in mind as you budget and set goals for your business, and you'll see a positive return on your investment.

Q: How should companies focus their training programs?

A: Selecting new team members is an important task. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and it's important to identify these up front. A good training program will identify those gaps in skill sets, and help you fill them. Training and continually developing staff also add to the success of individuals within an organization.

In addition, mentoring can be an important part of a training program. Senior personnel possess invaluable knowledge, and can share that with new employees.

You should also ensure that associates coming into your organization from other fields receive knowledge specific to your industry. Too often, people are trained for a specific role without an understanding of the industry as a whole.

For most organizations, effective training involves outside as well as internal resources. External trainers, on a whole, are very effective presenters. But internal staff have specific knowledge that can't be replicated by outside experts. Management should consider whether their training programs are effectively creating future leaders.

Q: How often should companies update their training programs?

A: Training programs must evolve with a growing company. It is important to not only establish training programs, but also to constantly verify that they are working. Training effectiveness can be difficult to measure, but it's not hard to get an overall feel for success.

Businesses should also consider incorporating new technology—such as apps and videos—into their training to make it portable and accessible.

A critical part of a company's success comes from an effective training and mentoring program. Take the time to not only select the right new employees to fill gaps in your organization, but also make sure employees are properly trained. Invest as much in your most valuable resource as you do in other assets.