“If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
These words of warning first stated by Benjamin Franklin are particularly relevant in today’s busy workplace, and such a situation of ill-preparedness can easily occur when focusing on what needs to be done today, and never finding time to focus on tomorrow.
A key example is discovering (sometimes too late) that your managers are struggling to cope with managing people and change. The impacts of such a situation on your business can easily be avoided by identifying your training needs early, and helping your team achieve their potential in the future.
Here are 5 reasons to start planning now:
1) Learning lessons early can help prepare for future success:
The sooner you know where you went wrong in the past year, the better for the future success of the whole business. Carry out a ‘lessons learnt’ activity on the past year’s training plan to reflect on what went well and what needs to change to get the most from the training budget. For example, do you want to do some more team leader training? Or, do your trainers need training to help them deliver the 2016 plan? Planning to include ‘train the trainer’ training could be one of the best investments you make.
This is also a good opportunity to assess whether you need specific training, delivered in a bespoke fashion, such as the tailored team leader and management development training EEF offers.
2) Early planning means early identification of ways to improve:
Planning early means you can give yourself and your team more time to explore specific requirements for 2016, and the particular courses that may be of use to improve the overall performance of the business. Review last year’s plan – did it accurately identify the knowledge, skills and behavioural gaps that can be minimised by the right training and follow up? Do team leaders and managers need help in correctly identifying training needs? Review the process with them – are they going for a quick fix rather than looking at the performance gap, and exploring what is a training need and what is a management issue?
3) Planning now can help reduce later risks:
Planning the right training increases efficiency and reduces risk, and the sooner your training objectives are identified and prioritised, the sooner you can start reducing the risks. One of the many benefits of introducing an effective training plan early is that people will be well prepared to achieve short and long term objectives. It takes time to find the right solution to training requirements, so the earlier you start, the sooner you get results.
4) Training plans boost staff morale:
Planning training and involving those who will undertake the training, and their managers, helps increase morale as people appreciate the investment in them and their skills. And the sooner this can be implemented the better for the longer term morale of the team. Releasing people for training can be challenging in a busy workplace, so the training schedule needs to take account of any peaks and troughs in operational demand.
5) Early planning helps establish best practice early:
Setting in motion a process of planning, followed up by set review dates throughout the year, helps establish early on the best practices the whole business can strive towards. Knowing what objectives you and your team want to achieve, and how training can impact this, gives everyone a standard of excellence to work towards through the whole year.