Although few hiring managers or business owners would dispute the value of a college degree, the importance of workplace literacy cannot be overstated. Businesses and organizations that implement workplace training initiatives find their employees communicate more effectively and demonstrate better teamwork and critical thinking skills. The point? While a fancy degree from Yale might help get you in the door, if your practical skills are more caveman than CEO, it won't keep you there.
A Well-Oiled Machine
The improved communication skills that result from workplace training don't just make it more fun to shoot the breeze at the water cooler, according to "Inside Indiana Business." Effective communication training makes decision-making at all levels easier because it improves critical thinking skills. Adjusting to change, essential to the life of any business or organization in the web-enabled 21st century economy, becomes easier when every employee from the board room to the mail room work in conjunction as one team with one goal.
Better Job Satisfaction
The specialized training employees receive for life in the office also results in higher overall job satisfaction. Companies and organizations that invest in workplace training enjoy less turnover as a result of better employee loyalty. And when employees are reluctant to leave their jobs because of workplace satisfaction, the company doesn't have to spend as much training new employees -- and that helps the bottom line, according to Walker Information. The idea is, it just feels better when your boss wants to see you move along your career path instead of just moving that long-forgotten invoice along the approval chain.
Although a 2006 Hudson survey indicated that the vast majority of bosses – 92 percent, in fact – believe they're awesome at managing, only 67 percent of employees agree. High quality managers don't just know their departments inside and out; they also demonstrate an aptitude for coaching, delegating tasks and disciplining staff, and these skills are learned on the job rather than in the classroom. It goes without saying that effective employees reap the benefits of experience and industry knowledge, but until they demonstrate superior workplace skills, the chances of advancement are nil.
As the staff at Apple probably discovers anew every day, when an inspired leader leaves, everyone else is left to pick up the pieces. Effective workplace training not only improves communication and fosters an environment of career development, it also transfers knowledge from the company's most senior leaders to its youngest staff. And as hard as giving up control is for many managers, if the company's workplace training program has been effective, the organization will not just survive, it will flourish.
Lisa Bigelow is an independent writer with prior professional experience in the finance and fitness industries. She also writes a well-regarded political commentary column published in Fairfield, New Haven and Westchester counties in the New York City metro area.