Training is Essential

by Michelle Parr Paulson, director of marketing communications, Paulson Training Programs

Let’s face it: The impact of the global pandemic of the novel coronavirus will be felt by all of us in ways yet to be fully understood. Businesses have taken huge hits, leading to painful layoffs and placing pressure on remaining employees to carry the load. It’s fair to say that training may be one of the last things on an employer’s mind in this time of survival. But here’s the thing: We will get back to business and companies will need employees – skilled employees – which already was an enormous challenge.

It’s no mystery that a team that can accurately identify and solve problems is far more valuable than a staff with cobbled-together notions of how to do their jobs. Providing your entire team with consistent, measurable and actionable pathways to learning is practically guaranteed to pay you back over and over again, even during times like these – and quite possibly, even more so. You may be thinking, “But how can I devote time and resources to training at a time like this?” The better question is: How can you not?

In fact, Paulson Training was deemed an essential business by the State of Connecticut, where the company is based, because training is recognized as essential in manufacturing.

The upside to downtime is leveraging this slower period to position yourself for success. Investing in employee training is an investment in the long-term prosperity of your entire business. The following represent just a few of the limitless benefits of training and development in any organization.

  • Response to change: Knowledge is power. Training teaches employees how to think, no matter the changes or challenges.
  • Improved retention rates: Offering training and development opportunities can dramatically impact employee retention rates, immediately increasing their sense of being valued.
  • Promote from within: It’s always more cost effective to promote from within rather than taking on the expense of an external candidate search.
  • Outperform the competition: Research has proven that businesses that invest heavily in employee training are more successful and prosperous.
  • Job satisfaction: As an employer, it’s in the best interest of the company to provide employees with reasonable opportunities to enjoy their work and take pride in what they do. This translates to job ownership and increased productivity.
  • Attract new talent: Businesses that invest heavily in the success of their employees attract new talent at the highest level.

Effective training also reduces cycle times, scrap rate, mold damage, machine downtime and employee injuries, while at the same time increasing productivity and efficiencies. A supervisor or manager can attribute savings to any of these areas. In fact, a recent Paulson customer, Stelray Plastics of Ansonia, Connecticut, experiences these benefits on a regular basis, mostly because the company has made training an integral part of their operations.

“Stelray is a custom injection molder, and we manufacture parts for the medical, dental, health and aerospace industries, among others,” said Ann Canfield, training manager for Stelray. “Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been fully operational and extremely busy. We have our team on the plant floor with appropriate safety and distancing measures in place, and our administrative staff is working from home. More importantly, throughout this whole thing, we remain committed to training our team. We’re keeping everyone appropriately skilled.”

She added, “We know the value of training. We see the confidence and independence it builds in our staff. Our production team’s initial machine start-up is much more efficient, scrap has decreased and overall efficiency has increased after personnel complete a training course, and Paulson plays a huge factor in that.”

As for Stelray and training during the pandemic, Canfield said, “I like to think that history will refer to this period as the ‘Big Pause’ or the ‘Great Pause.’ We’ve made training a priority now so we’ll be one step ahead.”

Michelle Parr Paulson is the director of marketing communications for Paulson Training Programs.

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