The Importance of Learning Opportunities

Staff training has never been more important. It’s also never been so challenging. Why? As data scientist Imed Bouchrika, Ph.D, explains, “On the one hand, organizations are frantically fighting to hold on to top talent and fill key positions. On the other hand, individuals have prioritized upskilling and reskilling to stay ahead of the curve.”

Tip: “Rather than recruiting new talent, business owners are finding ways to invest in their existing employees.”

In today’s competitive labor market, learning opportunities often make the difference between staying or leaving. How big? According to LinkedIn Learning, organizations can retain 94% of employees by making career development a priority.

Some Options

It’s not just traditional training that’s important, however. Some issues are more performance-related, and managers need to ascertain the difference and respond accordingly.

For example, sometimes it just takes coaching and feedback. Other times, a process needs to be simplified or new resources need to be provided. And, sometimes, it’s as simple as taking the time to explain what and why.

The percent of employees organizations can retain by making career development a priority.

What about reskilling and upskilling? Instead of hiring new staff, they’re definitely directions that many small businesses are following. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce explains them this way: “Rather than recruiting new talent, business owners are finding ways to invest in their existing employees. Reskilling helps employees learn new skills to take on new responsibilities and roles, while upskilling focuses on developing skills that will help employees perform better in their current roles. Both processes are affordable ways to leverage your talent without having to hire and onboard new workers.”

When + Where

Here’s what two of Shamir’s Peer-to-Peer champions have to say about the training and performance-enhancing efforts within their practices.

• MONTHLY. Monica Larimore, ABO, optical coordinator at Eagle Vision & Eye Clinic in Longmont, CO, reports, “We have monthly optical meetings. They’re very organized. We have lists, etcetera, to make sure everything is clear, and everyone is on the same page. That’s especially important for young employees.”

• WEEKLY. “I’ve always wanted for everybody to overlap,” says Laura Miller, O.D., owner of Northwest Hills Eye Care in Austin, TX, “so in our office we all meet together. We close for lunch every Tuesday for staff time. The fourth Tuesday of the month is totally geared toward training. Everybody is part of it so that everyone can understand.”

How do you handle training in your office? Tell us about it and share in the conversation on Facebook here.

Erinn Morgan

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