The Power of Employee Training

The Power of Employee Training

6 reasons for investing in employees’ learning and development

In today’s dynamic business landscape, where change is constant and innovation is imperative, investing in employee training has emerged as a strategic necessity for organizations aiming to thrive and stay ahead of the curve.

Beyond being a mere compliance requirement, employee training serves as a catalyst for organizational growth and success, offering a host of benefits that extend far beyond the individual level. From enhancing skills and knowledge to fostering diverse perspectives and driving innovation, there are many advantages of comprehensive training programs:

1. Increased Skills and Knowledge:

Employee training programs provide a structured platform for employees to acquire new skills and deepen their existing knowledge base. Whether it’s mastering advanced techniques in their field or staying abreast of the latest industry trends, ongoing training empowers employees to continuously evolve and upskill. This not only enhances individual performance but also equips the workforce with the capabilities needed to address evolving challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

2. Diverse Thinking and Perspectives:

Diversity of thought is a cornerstone of innovation and problem-solving. Employee training initiatives, especially those that promote cross-functional collaboration and diversity, create an environment where individuals from diverse backgrounds can come together, share insights and challenge conventional thinking. By fostering a culture of inclusivity and embracing diverse perspectives, organizations can unlock creative solutions to complex problems and drive innovation forward.

3. Enhanced Leadership Potential:

Effective leadership is vital for steering organizations toward their goals and fostering a culture of excellence. Employee training plays a pivotal role in identifying and nurturing future leaders within the organization. By providing leadership development programs and opportunities for mentorship and coaching, companies can groom high-potential employees, empowering them to assume leadership roles and drive positive change across the organization.

4. Improved Products and Processes:

Training programs that focus on real-world applications enable employees to translate theoretical knowledge into practical solutions. Whether it’s refining product designs, streamlining processes, or enhancing customer experiences, employees who undergo targeted training are better equipped to apply their learning to solve business challenges effectively. This not only leads to improved products and services but also drives operational efficiency and business performance. It’s also an impetus for improving customer service and satisfaction.

5. Greater Retention and Motivation:

Investing in employee development demonstrates a commitment to the growth and well-being of the workforce, fostering a sense of loyalty and belonging among employees. Organizations that prioritize training and development are more likely to retain top talent, as employees feel valued and invested in their professional growth. Moreover, access to learning opportunities serves as a powerful motivator, inspiring employees to perform at their best and contribute meaningfully to the organization’s success. A win-win for employee and employer.

6. Happier, Healthier Employees:

Employee well-being is intrinsically linked to job satisfaction and productivity. Training programs that prioritize holistic development, including physical and mental wellness initiatives, contribute to creating a healthier (read: happier!) workforce. By promoting work-life balance, stress management and mindfulness practices, organizations can foster a positive work environment where employees feel supported, energized and empowered to thrive both personally and professionally.

By investing in comprehensive training programs, organizations can unlock the full potential of their workforce, driving sustainable success in an ever-evolving business landscape. As motivational trainer and author says Zig Ziglar, “The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is not training them and keeping them.”

Get started on your employee training program HERE. Learn how government funding can pay for employee training programs.

Why Employee Training?
Nearly 2x

Companies that excel at internal mobility (promotion from within) retain employees for an average of 5.4 years, nearly twice as long as companies that struggle with it (the average retention span is 2.9 years)

10x

Employees who feel that their skills are not being put to good use in their current job are 10 times more likely to be looking for a new job

79%

of learning and development pros believe it is less expensive to re-skill a current employee than to higher a new one. 

SOURCE: Linkedin 2022 Workplace Learning Report

Leadership & Cultivating Responsibility and Engagement

Leadership & Cultivating Responsibility and Engagement

Leadership plays a pivotal role in shaping the culture of any organization. Effective leaders aspire to instill a sense of 100% responsibility among their team members, where individuals take full ownership of their careers, engagement, customer satisfaction, innovation and cost management. However, for this culture to thrive, leaders must also prioritize employee engagement, recognizing its direct impact on productivity, innovation and the overall success of the business.

At the heart of employee engagement lies the creation of a workplace where employees feel connected not only to their work but also to their colleagues and the organization as a whole.

Engaged employees demonstrate passion for their work, exhibit commitment to the organization’s goals, and willingly go beyond their job requirements to contribute to its success. They find purpose and meaning in their work, feeling that their contributions are valued and appreciated.

The Importance of Employee Engagement for Businesses:

Businesses that foster employee engagement reap significant rewards. Engaged employees are more productive, innovative and dedicated to the organization’s objectives. They are also more likely to provide exceptional customer service, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Moreover, a culture of engagement becomes a magnet for top talent, enhancing workforce quality and driving innovation and growth. Additionally, engaged employees tend to stay with the company, reducing turnover costs and ensuring workforce stability.

The Role of Leadership in Fostering Culture:

Leadership plays a critical role in promoting both responsibility and engagement. Leaders who seek 100% responsibility must provide their team members with the necessary authority and trust to make day-to-day decisions independently. Transparent communication, including sharing vital information with employees, fosters a sense of ownership and accountability.

At the same time, cultivating employee engagement requires leaders to understand the unique needs and motivations of their workforce. They create an environment that promotes trust, collaboration and creativity. Effective leaders set a clear vision and communicate it effectively to ensure alignment throughout the organization. Providing regular feedback and recognition instills a sense of ownership, and opportunities for personal and professional growth empower employees to succeed.

Improve Responsibility and Engagement:

Leaders can implement various strategies to enhance both responsibility and engagement.

Open communication cultures, where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas, concerns and feedback are highly effective. Regular team meetings, one-on-one conversations and feedback surveys facilitate this process.

Leaders can also provide opportunities for professional and personal development, such as training programs, mentoring, and coaching to demonstrate that employees are valued and invested in the organization’s success.

Benefits of a Culture of Responsibility:

A culture that embraces both responsibility and engagement yields numerous benefits for businesses. Engaged and responsible employees are more productive, innovative and committed to the organization’s goals. They provide exceptional customer service, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Furthermore, such a culture helps attract top talent, improves workforce quality, drives innovation and growth and reduces turnover costs while ensuring workforce stability.

Common Mistakes Leaders Make:

Leaders must avoid common mistakes when fostering responsibility and engagement. Over-reliance on incentives and rewards rather than intrinsic engagement can hinder progress. Short-term focus may overshadow the importance of long-term employee development.

Inadequate feedback and recognition or a lack of open communication can obstruct efforts to foster responsibility and engagement.

Measuring and Tracking Responsibility and Engagement:

Measuring and tracking both responsibility and engagement are crucial for understanding the effectiveness of initiatives and identifying areas for improvement. Surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one conversations with employees are valuable methods to gauge engagement levels. Tracking over time facilitates data-driven decision-making and helps leaders identify trends and areas for improvement.

In conclusion, leadership plays a dual role in cultivating both responsibility and engagement within an organization. When leaders promote a culture where individuals take ownership of their actions and decisions and simultaneously foster a sense of purpose and connection among employees, the result is a thriving workplace that drives success and sustainable growth.

Utilize our 31-years of experience

Tap into 31 years of experience with a FREE 1-Hour Assessment

We offer a FREE 1-HOUR ASSESSMENT to determine how we can help you achieve your business goals. Take advantage of our 31-years of experience! Let’s talk about how Integram can help you scale and build a better future.

31 Years in Biz

Integram: Celebrating 31 Years of Building Bold Sustainable Possibilities

In April 1992, Integram was founded with a vision to provide unique marketing solutions that would set us apart from other marketing companies. The name Integram (which stood for integrated marketing at the time) was chosen by the company’s founder, Michael Smith, who was inspired by his father’s advice to make his business unique. Little did he know that the title Integram” would be more relevant than ever in the world of social media with the arrival of Instagram.

Over the years, Integram has helped businesses grow and thrive, even in the toughest times. We have been a leader in brand marketing and strategic planning, digital marketing solutions, athlete representation and sports/event sponsorship. We’ve worked with an impressive list of clients — from big brands such as Pepsi and TD Bank to more than 60 small and medium businesses across Ontario. 

Now in our 31st year of business, we’ve remained committed to our SME clients, dedicated to scaling their business and creating a bigger sustainable future. Our unique process and experience have proven to be successful, and we are so proud of our accomplishments and achievements with the support of ongoing partners and clients.

At the foundation of all our success is that we are trainers and coaches who love to spread our knowledge and help businesses grow. So, in celebration of our remarkable achievement, here are 3 important business lessons we’ve learned + 1 guiding philosophy we’ve learned from throughout the years:

3 Business Lessons:

Achieving longevity in business requires a combination of strategic planning, hard work and adaptability. Here are three important business lessons to keep in mind when aiming for long-term success:

1. Focus on building relationships:

Building strong relationships with customers, suppliers, partners and employees is essential for any business that wants to be sustainable and survive in the long run. Provide excellent customer service, treat your employees well, and nurture long-term relationships with key partners. Through these actions, you’ll establish a loyal customer base and a strong network of support that will help sustain your business over time. Reward your clients, and they’re more likely to reward you back.

2. Stay flexible and adaptable:

The business world is constantly changing, and staying flexible and adaptable is essential for long-term success. Be willing to pivot your business strategy as needed in response to changes in the market or shifts in consumer behaviour. Keep an eye on emerging trends and technologies and be prepared to embrace them when they offer new opportunities for growth. In other words, stay vigilant. We live in a rapidly changing world that rewards those who stay on their toes.

3. Invest in your team:

Your employees are one of your most valuable assets, and investing in their training and development is essential for long-term success. By providing opportunities for growth and development, you will help your team stay engaged and motivated. Additionally, by investing in your team’s skills and expertise, you will build a strong foundation for future growth and expansion.

+1 Guiding Philosophy: Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement is not just about making incremental changes; it’s about fostering a culture of innovation and experimentation within your organization. It involves a willingness to take risks, learn from mistakes, and embrace new ideas and technologies.

Above all, remember that continuous improvement is a journey, not a destination. It’s an ongoing process that requires commitment and dedication from everyone in your organization. By embracing this philosophy and making it a core part of your company culture, you can build a stronger, more resilient business that is poised for long-term success.

Integram’s success over the past 31 years is a testament to our commitment to excellence and our passion for helping businesses succeed. We’ve only lost money in one year out of 31, so we’re very proud to have been consistently profitable and believe this is a testament to the success we help invoke in our clients. 

As we move forward, we will continue to provide unique training programs, ideas for growth and marketing solutions that set our clients apart from the competition. Here’s to many more years of Bold Sustainable Growth!

Utilize our 31-years of experience

Free 1-Hour Assessment

We offer a FREE 1-HOUR ASSESSMENT to determine how we can help you achieve your business goals. Take advantage of our 31-years of experience! Let’s talk about how Integram can help you scale and build a better future.

BUILDING YOUR STORY

7 Steps to Communicating a Powerful Vision

Whether you’re looking to knock your next pitch out of the park or garner good press with a local news agency, effective business communication skills are critical to communicating your vision.

So, read on for some proven tips on crafting a powerful story that you can apply to your business today.

Determine your intention

Why and what do you want to communicate? Is it to highlight a service/product as an extension of your business or to highlight your team’s principles to build brand awareness?

For example, do you want to communicate that you’re an expert in small business marketing or a sensation at design and decor? Knowing your purpose keeps you focused.

Write it down

Get it down, or you can’t share it with the right audience. If writing or recording a video intimidates you, lean on employees who are willing to learn or be trained at a new skill. Of course, there are also professionals who can help with effective communications, whether it’s writing, editing or social media engagement. You’re not expected to put beautiful prose together like J.K Rowling.

Keep it simple

Clear, concise, succinct. Stay away from filler or what author Ann Handley calls “meandering” – she emphasizes that businesses should communicate ideas in a way that “respects the reader; to ensure that any content we produce doesn’t come off as indulgent.” We can get stuck in a loooong trail of writing that takes 10 words instead of 50. A good way to know if you’re getting stuck in that trap is to read your words out loud or to someone else.

Be authentic

Storytelling isn’t permission to tell a tale – especially one that isn’t true or genuinely your story. Too many communicators tell a similar story, one that follows a template or format, void of details or connection. A good story is real – it’s oozing with emotion, delivered with motivation.

Capture your voice

Use your words, your expressions. You don’t need to sound like that captivating speaker you recently watched on a TED Talk (although we all have our mentors who can model some good habits in delivering content). Deliver your message your way – but be sure to practice it, feel comfortable in your delivery and communicate it with confidence. A note about style: Stick to a conversational style versus one that’s scripted or clinical.

Write it for your audience, not your peers

Whatever you write has to be meaningful to readers. Remember, you’re building a relationship with them. It may not resonate with everyone, and that’s OK. A common mistake professionals make when trying to market to their target audience is writing for their peers, not the end user. Often times, they’re not one in the same.

Review & rehearse

This will separate the novice from the professional. We’re so used to hammering something out on the keyboard and pushing that send button without pause. But that’s not how the professionals do it. Even the most seasoned executive business coaches take their time with a manuscript, put it down, and come back to it. You want to come out strong and sharp.

CREATE A PLAN TO GROW

6 Surefire Strategies To Shape Your Vision

In our last newsletter, you learned how our 3 C process – Create, Communicate, Close – has proven to help our business clients grow. We use the framework to help small and medium-sized businesses develop while integrating a plan that ensures they build successfully for the long term. 

Here, we dive into our first C – CREATE – where we take you through simple and effective strategies to set you up for bold sustainable growth. 

Let’s get to it!

Know your why

Purpose is a powerful propellant. It guides our mission, fuels our efforts and helps us stay focused. Every successful business leads with their why

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” says Simon Sinek, leadership guru, author and inspirational speaker. Let’s take the example of Tesla. The company’s mission to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy” is all about why they are in business. What they do and how they get there – that is, to build compelling electric cars to market as soon as possible – follows their purpose. 

Taking the time to understand your why ensures you and the people who work for you know, at the core, why you do what you do and are then able to communicate it to customers. 

Questions that all businesses should ask themselves:

  • Why are we here?
  • What is our mission and passion?
  • Why do we go to work?

The answer to these questions is NOT “because I want to make money” (although that may be a positive residual effect of growing a business) but rather it might be “because I love and use the X product I’m selling” or “because I want to bring happiness to customers” or “because X business is in a growing industry and I want to be part of it.” Identifying your why influences all other decisions around the business.

Create a vision

Four years ago, one of our clients wanted to change the way his business was impacting the environment. As an architect (and partner to the home construction sector), he knew the housing industry was a big contributor to landfill waste, air pollution and energy consumption. So, he began to put a plan in action to become a sustainable architect, focusing his designs on buildings that have durability, longevity and resilience. Today, he has drastically reduced his carbon footprint with renewable resources, his business is growing and he’s never been happier about his contributions to his community and the environment at large.

The lesson here is to create a vision for the future you want. Even when that vision seems difficult (Apple was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy in 1997) focus is important. As Tesla’s Elon Musk often professes, don’t be afraid to think big.

Write it down

A vision can’t move forward without a written plan. When you write things down, you’re more committed and driven to reach goals. Planning for a sustainable future also requires a plan with longevity. Likewise, aligning your employees with a clear vision from the beginning gives them purpose and place in the continual growth of the business. It also strengthens the culture of the organization, which in turn drives productivity. When you write a plan and the team is behind you, you can create your future.

Plan with a SAP

Our Strategic Action Plan (SAP) helps clients determine three-year, one-year and 90-Day Sprint goals for their business. This type of planning requires a commitment to setting goals, actions to meet targets and flexibility to continually update plans and keep pivoting when necessary. Why start with three-year targets? While this is a shift from the typical one-year business plan, by focusing on three years before you chart your yearly and 90-day goals you begin with the end in mind.

One of the biggest reasons why strategic plans fail is that they are too complicated. Integram’s SAP, for example, charts goals in a simple, one-page format to provide a bird’s-eye view of targets. A simple plan encourages you to be clear, concise and concrete.

Ready, set, revisit

When to plan is equally important. Most businesses don’t make planning a priority and tend to revisit plans only when things go wrong and, subsequently, need to dig themselves out of a situation.

According to a recent study by Harvard Business Review, 85 percent of executive leadership teams spend less than one hour per month discussing strategy. Another 50 percent spend no time working on strategic plans. When it comes to communicating strategy, 95 percent of employees don’t understand the company’s efforts in this area. Researchers attribute the lack of attention to planning as one of the key reasons why businesses fail to meet their strategic targets.

It’s a common pitfall when business is doing well.

Planning needs to be a continual process so you’re ready for an uneventful situation (read: Covid-19). It allows you to forecast foreseeable issues and be ready to shift focus when necessary. Crisis planning, for example, may include selling merchandise through an online store in the event of a shutdown or to keep things afloat while the course is under repair.
The constant process of planning is vital because as soon as you implement a plan, it can be old, something can go wrong, or your competition has figured out a better solution. Don’t make planning “an event” but a “process,” explains Simon Sinek. “The process of planning” and not the plan itself is important. In other words, haphazard planning doesn’t make the cut.

Set the course to grow!

The final phase in our Create pillar is creating a unique and memorable brand identity that outlines key features such as the company’s principles and tagline, among others. This type of brand groundwork will set the foundation for the next phase, where you’re ready to build your story, shape it and share it to reach your target market.

…This takes us to our second C – communicate. Stay tuned for our next newsletter for more.