Invest in your workforce

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In this day and age, establishing a multifaceted brand in an industry such as ours is a key component for business growth and employee satisfaction. Constant innovation in service offerings not only welcomes a new clientele, but also keeps old clients coming back.

Equipping your workforce with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide new services to your clients is one method of keeping your business on the path to success. Training is a great way for your workers to gain knowledge about industry trends and acquire new skills in the field.

According to a 2013 Forbes article, many business owners tend to ignore employee development when, in fact, they should be taking advantage of available programs to enhance and strengthen their existing workforce.

Although sometimes costly, training your employees is a long-term investment that contributes to the success of your company, and facilitates upward mobility for those lower-level workers who are seeking to move up the business ladder. Starting sooner rather than later will have better payoff in the long run and increase employee retention.

With today’s workforce shortage, we must prioritize employee development, workforce engagement and effective work practices.

Keeping open lines of communication with your employees is the best way to identify areas in which training is most needed. Your workforce should always be involved in the selection of which training programs make most sense for your team.

Teach new skills.

Equipment operation training is a useful skill to have and a way to save time while bringing versatility and power to your workforce. Training your employees on how to properly and safely operate machinery such as skid-steers, excavators, air spades, augers, etc., will cut down your need for additional manpower and increase employee efficiency, especially when tackling big projects.

Take a hands-on approach.

While resources like videos are extremely useful for employee development, hands-on training delivers the best results. Reading materials and passing exams does not make you an expert. Being able to put your skills to practice in the most effective way possible does.

The use of demonstrations and hands-on exercises guarantees that your employees obtain a thorough understanding of the material presented to them. Training increases morale and reduces employee turnover, two essential aspects of a strong business. Untrained employees lack the knowledge to use company resources properly, which in turn affects your clients and ultimately your bottom line.

Foster a leadership spirit.

Training your managers and crew leaders on different skill sets can allow for knowledge to be passed and foster a sense of growth. This is essential to building better leaders and adds a sense of diversification to your business.

It is important to explore other service areas in which training might be necessary such as software literacy, leadership development, communication skills, etc. This is a great way to bring added value to your staff as a whole, given that good management most often results in a productive and efficient workforce.

Juan Torres is founder of Next Step Solutions and president of the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance.

May 2017
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