Training, continuing education, skill development or whatever name you want to assign to it can have benefits beyond the bottom line. Why should you invest in training? There are a number of reasons why you or your organization should be looking at some form of training or continued education if you are not already doing so. In the US alone, 10K baby boomers turn 65 (the typical age of retirement) every day. While the average retirement age of a baby boomer lies somewhere between 61 and 65, it’s easy to see a growing wave of the very experienced and skilled workforce leaving the many industries, including plastics, across the US and in Europe.
Within this rather staggering statistic from the U.S. Department of Labor lies another issue seen consistently across the plastics industry, and yet good reason for training. The knowledge gap for many across the plastics manufacturers and processors landscape between new and older employees is somewhat lengthy. Today many companies do not have succession plans, long-term mentoring programs or knowledge sharing initiatives. As a result, a great wealth of knowledge is lost when employees retire or change roles.
Even with delayed retirements for some, the transfer of knowledge and experience can get lost. Training and continued education can undoubtedly augment some of that knowledge for new and even experienced employees. So, understanding the many changes happening to your company’s workforce, as well across the entire manufacturing landscape, the question really should be; why haven’t you already invested in training?
Long Term Planning and Immediate Benefits
Company sponsored training allows you to select the specific skill sets to improve current operations. More importantly it allows you to plan for the future needs of your business. As you analyze the adaptations required to grow your business you benefit from the more immediate results of improved customer service, improved productivity and safety practices. All of these improvements have more than just a positive impact on profit; they have a positive impact on the employees.
Training Equals More
Up-skilled employees have personal benefits of increased job satisfaction and improved morale. Training builds their self-esteem keeping them fresh and motivated. Job performance improvements such as increased efficiency in processes, increased innovation in products and strategies, and increased capacity to adopt new technology have the potential to make the employee eligible for a position with better prospects for personal growth and financial gain. Investing in your employees and their future shows your confidence in them and concern for them.
Paying a Price
Educating your workforce comes at a price, but the up-front investment of time and money will save you more in the long run. Every company looks to trim unnecessary expenses. Wouldn’t you rather make the investment in training versus paying the price of a poorly trained staff? You may never see the cost of a poorly trained workforce as a line item on your balance sheet, but you’ll see it in higher production costs, time lost to re-work, and poor service. The greatest price paid is a lost customer which will require much more time and money to win back.
Time is Money
You have heard it, read it, and we’ve written about it. Your employees depend on you to give them the tools to be successful. You depend on your employees to accurately produce what your customer needs and to do so in a timely fashion. Your customers depend on your company to deliver the best product on time. Investing time and money in training your employees to be more skilled to help keep your production up, costs down and keep your customer happy, can have both short and long term benefits.