There has been a growing skills gap in the worldwide plastics industry for many years. As technology moves on, this has become even more of an issue. There is no quick fix, but a good start can be made by investing in training and offering more apprenticeships to bring new people into the sector.

Career Paths and Organisational Goals

To ensure the long-term success of a company, staff must be made aware of the available career paths. To support that, managers must be able to recognise how those roles are critical to meeting organisational goals. Investing in employees so they can advance their careers is common sense; employers who invest in their teams are able to hire, retain and develop the most productive and motivated employees.

Why Employees Leave

Some companies might say that staff attrition is to be expected and this makes them reluctant to invest in training. In many cases they blame the economy, modern cultural trends, the retirement of baby boomers and poor retention linked to millennials being perceived as notorious job hoppers.

However, in many cases, the reasons for people leaving a company are related to the development strategy of a given business and a lack of internal training. Capable and ambitious employees are constantly looking to expand their expertise and improve their skills, to stay up to date to help advance their career. If an employer does not offer learning and development opportunities, they risk demotivating and ultimately losing their talented staff members.

Selling the Benefits of Training

It is the lack of training and learning opportunities which leads to frustrated employees looking elsewhere for professional career progression and job satisfaction. Correspondingly, happier and more contented employees who are supported through training are more likely to be loyal to their employer.

If you are interested in introducing a training plan, it needs to sell the benefits to both the staff and the business. Team members can sometimes show resistance to training if it is presented as mandatory. However, when it is linked to an employee’s professional and personal objectives, while being relevant to the organisational strategy, it is far more likely to be accepted.

Training Needs Assessment

A good starting point is a skills audit using a Training Needs Assessment. This can identify gaps in the organisation and ensure that any training delivers the correct level of training, while meeting the requirements of the organisation.

Ongoing Training

Most importantly, training must be presented as a project, rather than the traditional one-off activity. Additionally, trainees must be given the time and resources to implement knowledge gained. The most effective training can show significant return on investment when correctly implemented, with a world-class workforce helping to drive profitability.

It was the renowned American motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, who said, “What’s worse than training your workers and losing them? Not training them and keeping them!” The challenge we all face is to invest in our employees by offering ongoing training and development opportunities. By doing so, we can retain our talented staff members and help drive organisational success.

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