Without employees, your business would not be the great asset it is today, so it’s important that you focus on continuously training them to develop their skills, encourage career development, and grow your business. Other benefits include improved performance, morale and job satisfaction, as well as helping to identify weaknesses with an organization.
There are two ways a business can train its employees: either internally, or with the help of a third-party company. And there are many different areas in which you can train your staff, such as management and leadership, software, and project management. However, which option you choose will likely depend on what your business requires, so here we look at the pros and cons of both to help you determine which is right for your company.
What are the advantages?
It offers an outside perspective
External training provides an outsider’s perspective, with the trainer likely knowing very little about your business, and therefore having no preconceptions. This will enable them to approach the session in new ways you might not have considered, as they have a neutral standpoint and will view your business with no direct relation to its day-to-day activities. Trainers are better placed to point out any inefficiencies too, which can help improve your organization.
Lessons prepared by skilled professionals
External training is delivered by professionals who have teaching experience and can make use of the most effective learning methods, which can make it more effective than in-house training. It also saves your team time, as staff won’t need to organize and plan training around their own workload — all your team needs to do is schedule it into their diaries and turn up.
Indeed, many external training courses are officially accredited, which is a stamp of quality proving the trainees are qualified. Take MTD Training, whose management training courses are accredited with the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), and are CPD-certified (meaning they count towards your Continuing Professional Development). After the course, you have the option to receive two certificates confirming your completion with official accreditation, proving to employers that you’ve been professionally trained.
Encourages employees to broaden their horizons
Travelling elsewhere for training will encourage your team to leave their comfort zones. Being in a new environment provides opportunities to seek out new solutions, and approach projects in a different light. This is a result of taking a step away from their desks and having a third-party trainer observing them, and providing assistance and feedback.
The change of scenery also means employees are less likely to feel distracted, as the informality and familiarity of internal training may cause staff to pay little attention.
What are the advantages?
Has a cost effective set-up
Internal training is more cost-effective than external training, as it requires no travel or course fees, whereas professional courses are expensive. For example, businesses invested an average of $1,286 per employee for training in 2019, and this may well be too much for small businesses to spare, even on such an important investment.
Internal training is also simple to set up, as you’ll be using your own office space, which makes it ideal for startups with a small budget. However, you should also consider whether you have the technology, space, and appropriate environment to host these kinds of sessions.
Staff have insider knowledge
Internal training is delivered by staff who already know the ins and outs of your business, which makes it easier for them to develop the course. It can also be tailored to suit your specific requirements, without worrying that anything is irrelevant and will waste time. This could be more beneficial than external training, because you have full control over the course content.
However, internal training may be unsuitable if your business follows health and safety procedures which require your staff to learn first aid, as this should always be delivered by a trained professional.
Helps to builds relationships
Keeping your training in-house may help your employees strengthen their relationships, as it provides a chance for everyone to get together. For example, it could encourage more team-building and better discussions.
Integrating staff from different departments and job roles could also help to create a better team dynamic in the long term. However, this could be problematic if training appears too informal, or employees don’t take it seriously enough, and treat the exercise more like an office social than a formal training session.