Why is Employee Training so Important?

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why-employee-training-is-so-importantTraining is one of the most critical areas that often is overlooked by employers. With the increase of employment-related lawsuits, investing in effective training for supervisors and employees can really save employers’ hard-earned money.

Regularly-scheduled training that is well planned and executed may lower the potential for lawsuits. Additionally, the courts tend to be sympathetic to employers when they invest in proactively training their employees. Most importantly, employees benefit from training: their productivity and efficiency increases, job satisfaction rises, and training events can even open lines of communication among team members.

Following are some of the most common workplace training topics:

Orientation

Training should begin on an employee’s first day of work. New employee training and orientation is crucial, because it sets the stage for an employee’s career and introduces the company’s expectations, policies, company culture and values.

Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Prevention

Both sexual harassment prevention and discrimination prevention trainings have grown in popularity in recent years due to our increasingly litigious society. In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court made several landmark decisions which caused training to take on a new, more important meaning. Although the Supreme Court’s decisions simplified the employee’s capacity to sue his or her employer for sexual harassment, the decisions also provided employers with critical keys as to methods of avoiding harassment in the workplace and rectifying harassment issues before they became actionable offenses.

Safety and Risk Management

The employer’s duty to train is an important element of several Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. For example, OSHA mandates that employers implement certain specific safety procedures. The recent Temporary Workers’ Initiative requires that even temporary workers receive the same safety orientation that a regular employee receives.

Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity

Equal employment opportunity and diversity training programs are a must-have for employers. Civil rights agencies look for this as a compliance factor in cases. Having a strong supervisor training program addressing how to motivate a diverse workforce with cooperation and collaboration is essential to meeting business goals and reducing legal risks.

Supervisor Training

Many employers promote employees based solely on their expertise rather than their leadership skills, neglecting to train the newly promoted managers for their supervisory position. Additional training for new and seasoned supervisors alike should include:

Hiring and Promoting
Discipline and Termination
Performance Evaluations
Businesses which work with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) typically have access to a wide range of training topics, delivered in person by an HR Manager or Risk Manager, or available on-demand via webinar. Some PEOs also offer pre-recorded training sessions online for their clients. Training is provided by qualified instructors, in a manner simple enough for all types of learners to understand and retain. Training sessions conducted by a PEO also are documented, in the event an employee files a claim.

Regardless of the method of delivery, a robust training program can help employers reduce risk and liability and reduce the likelihood of accidents, fines or lawsuits.

Contact the author directly at jan.sherrick@staffone.com. This is the fifth post in our 30 Days of HR Outsourcing series. Visit us each day in November for information on HR, payroll, benefits, workers’ comp and risk management topics, or subscribe to be notified instantly when a new post is published.