Article: Training Matters

By: EICC (GRHRA Platinum Partner)

October 29, 2021

 

A Need to Get and Keep Talent

In today’s challenging workforce, employers are faced with a shortage of skilled workers, and recently, with a shortage of workers in general.  At every turn, there are “help wanted” signs.  Some businesses have even reduced hours or adjusted the way they serve customers due to this lack of manpower.  Others have closed completely due to a lack of access to human resources. 

The need for workers makes it even more important for companies to focus on providing the resources and support existing employees need to be highly productive, engaged, and committed to the company’s mission. 

According to Indeed (February 22, 2021), there are several benefits of training employees: 

  1. Increased productivity and performance
  2. Uniformity of work processes
  3. Reduced wastage
  4. Reduce supervision
  5. Promoting from within
  6. Improved organizational structure
  7. Boosted morale
  8. Improved knowledge of policies and goals
  9. Improved customer valuation
  10. Better workplace environment
  11. Improved and updated technology

Making the Time for Employee Training

Having a culture that supports professional development at all levels is the first step in engaging employees in training opportunities.  While this can be challenging with a declining workforce, there are more options than ever for companies that want to keep staff productive, connected, and increasingly knowledgeable. 

On-line learning options provide a flexible and inexpensive way to provide training.  The days of correspondence courses and boring conference call learning are long past.  Today’s virtual environment can be a literal “classroom” with all of the interaction and engagement of in-person learning.  On-line learning offers two options—live on-line where learners join an instructor and classmates in a virtual environment on a specific day and time, and 24/7 on-line learning where learners can log into a portal as they have time to access training.  Both offer more flexibility for employees, and less travel and out-of-office costs for employers. 

Training has a direct impact on productivity and performance.  While it may be challenging to provide employees with the time for training in the short-term, the benefit of doing so can be the answer to some of the long-term issues created by our lacking workforce. 

Training to Meet Skilled Worker Demands

It stands to logic that if you can’t find what you need, you have to figure out a way to make it.  This applies to all resources, including people. 

If ideal candidates aren’t walking in the door, it’s time to look internally for workers who have the potential to be trained to meet your needs.  Many companies are turning to apprenticeship to apply this methodology.  The results are skilled workers who know that their company believes in their abilities enough to invest in their training. 

If ideal candidates aren’t walking in the door, but people with potential are, it’s time to look at ways to engineer those individuals to meet your needs.  If you run across someone who displays all of the soft skills you need, but they haven’t learned to weld, for example, why not set them, and your company up for success by investing in them?  It’s much easier to train an individual to do the work than it is to change their ability to show up for work every day, and be committed to doing a good job. 

Undoubtedly, these things take time and money.  How much time and money are lost due to the lack of productivity from unfillable positions?  How much is spent on advertising that doesn’t bring results?  What benefits could you uncover if you invested in your employees? 

Community Colleges Can Help

All across the state, community colleges are developing and providing high quality, low cost training and education.  There are more resources to help your company and your employees access these resources than ever before. 

GAP, GEER II, SNAP programs providing funding for short term, non-credit certificates in areas of high demand (C.N.A., truck driving, welding, CNC, etc.).  Some eligibility applies for these programs. 

Iowa Jobs Training Program, Iowa New Jobs Training Program, and Workforce Training and Economic Development Grants provides funding for training to Iowa companies.  Some eligibility applies for these programs.

Apprenticeships programs in manufacturing, automotive technology, and culinary arts prepare individuals for high demand careers.  Colleges in Iowa have standards in place so that employers can easily partner without having to go through the process of developing standards, and managing the statewide tracking system. 

Last Dollar Scholarship provides funding assistance for students enrolled in high demand career and technical education programs. 

These programs may make training low to no cost.  Literally, the only commitment it time.  To learn more, contact your Business Solutions representative. 

Clinton and Jackson Counties

Tim Cottle, tcottle@eicc.edu

 

Muscatine County

Katie Watson, klwatson@eicc.edu

 

Scott County

Mike O’brien, mfobrien@eicc.edu

Cheryl Riley-Hayles, criley-hayles@eicc.edu