According to the data, Canadian businesses now spend only about half on their workers what American businesses do. According to the Financial Post, Canadian businesses spent about $11,700 per worker on new, non-residential capital in 2017, far below a peak of $15,100 in 2014. The fall-off means the average Canadian worker will have less infrastructure, machinery and technology to work with in the years ahead, the Post writes.
One thing successful businesses need is investment. Not only investment in equipment, but investment in employees. Human capital is the most valuable capital you have. Material things can be replaced. Talented people cannot.
I encourage clients to invest in their people in a number of different ways. A big one is through training sessions for their employees. Training is key to enabling professional development to happen. There are a number of things you can do to ensure employees get the most out of training sessions.
- Focus on a range of material. Don’t simply focus these sessions on how to operate equipment (although that is a hugely important aspect). Focus on other matters too, like how to help others and be a good collaborator. Giving employees input into the content of the sessions can be a great idea. Find out what they’d like to learn. As long as it’s relevant to the topic at hand, it will make the sessions more enjoyable and useful.
- Develop engaging in-house training materials. There’s nothing worse than handing out boring material at a training session. Material developed by someone else outside your company is particularly unhelpful. Create your own with the help of your equipment supplier. With modern technology you can do so quickly and economically. You know your employees better than anyone, so you’ll no doubt have some insight into the kind of training material they would find most helpful.
- Don’t forget the action plan. One problem I encounter with training sessions is failure to follow up afterward. Employees need the opportunity to turn knowledge into action. Close the training session by setting aside some time to put together an action plan for each employee that can be followed once the session is over.
Investing in employees should go beyond just ensuring you have good equipment. Quality training is essential to success.