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Does Your Company Have a Training Culture?

By: Amy Platenik VP of Member Services

In the world today, things are changing at an accelerating speed. Everyone has a smartphone and works remotely, but let's consider how far we have come with technology. The way we communicate and how we track project progress has changed dramatically. Online and on-demand training has become commonplace, in addition to in-person classes.  

Have you noticed that your customers demand instant project results, despite supply and workforce shortages? They are used to an Amazon and Netflix world, where you can choose what and when you want it. 

Is your company's culture evolving to meet the challenges facing the industry? Workplace culture is reflected in three things:

  1. Values
  2. Goals
  3. Mission and Vision

Values are the company's position on initiatives, teamwork, diversity, community involvement, integrity, excellence, education, and training. 

In other words, what is essential to the company? What is the company's identity in the community? More importantly, what is your company's identity among the employees?

Goals are short-term and long-term objectives. 

Typically, they are in writing, with measurable objectives. An example of a short-term goal might be increasing business by 5% in the next quarter. 

A long-term goal could be to have a fully trained, skilled workforce in five years.

Mission and vision are the company's view of the big picture. The mission is a statement of the company's purpose. Vision is a "blue sky" statement focused on the future.  

Values, Goals, Mission, and Vision explain why the company exists. They should all be based on the core values of the company. The core values represent the company's belief system and serve as the foundation for the company and its employees.

When training and educating its workers are vital components of the organization's core values, a training culture exists in the company. So ask yourself, Does your company have a training culture? 

Here are a few questions you can ask:

  • Is training and education part of the core values of the company?
  • How important are education and training to the company's values, goals, mission, and vision?
  • Does the company's training budget reflect its importance? 
  • How is training money allocated and spent?

In developing a training culture, consider how training fits the company's core values. Core values form the foundation of the company. Therefore, when a company recognizes the importance of training at that level, it significantly progresses toward developing a training culture.  

Although everyone in the company must embrace the importance of training, it must start at the top with (YOU). If the company's management team embraces education and training, it will become integral to its values, goals, mission, and vision.  

It is often said that the "proof is in the pudding." The best way to gauge the level of commitment is to review a company's training budget. The industrial sector averages 2%. The construction industry spends 1.83% of its payroll on training. How does your company compare?  

One of the problems is that it is tough to determine an exact return on investment (ROI), but common sense tells us that training does make a difference. For example, a Department of Labor study found that every dollar spent on apprenticeship training returned $54.00. Do you have any other investments that have given you even half of that?

Developing a training culture within your company takes time. It does not happen overnight. The only way to succeed is to take a step at a time. The first step may seem small, but it will make all the difference.