It’s that time of year again when budgets are being set for the forthcoming financial year, but before you submit it to the powers to be, have you included staff training within it? Have you even considered what training your employees may need? Or maybe it’s not even a consideration for your business. Well maybe it’s time to think again!

With companies seeing staff being placed on furlough during the pandemic and some not working since it all began in March 2020; employee training is certainly not something that should be overlooked. Of course, you may have been a forward-thinking business and invested in training whilst your employees were on furlough, which was allowed during the coronavirus pandemic. You could of course have worked all the way through and had no time for training. In this latter case, training is still important, after all your competitors may have spent lockdown training staff and getting ahead of the game!

If you haven’t put a training plan in place then you are certainly not in the minority. According to a report, Learning and Skills at Work 2020, from the CIPD and Accenture “only one in three (29%) organisations claim to have clear learning and development plans for their employees”.

But why is training so important? A report by UK L&D stated that “companies who are spending more than the national average of £300 on training for each employee, none have a retention rate of less than half a year”. Retention is linked to training, the more you invest in your staff, the more likely they will stay and be a positive addition to the company. As the engineering pioneer, Henry Ford, supposedly once said “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave, is not training them, and having them stay”.

Yes, training can be a significant investment, but the costs associated with recruiting new employees is expensive and not be underestimated. There is the administrative time needed to deal with the resignation and the subsequent disruption that is caused. It’s not something you can put on a to do list and deal with in a few months’ time. Then you need to replace the employee which involves recruitment and selection costs, which can be significant especially if you opt to use a recruitment agency. If you are lucky, you’ll get someone in before the resigned employee leaves, but it’s unlikely so you’ll need to cover the post during this vacancy. Then once your new employee starts, you’ll need to conduct induction training and ultimately how do you know how this newbie is going to turn out. If you’ve got excellent staff be sure to invest in them, it’s better than having to start again!

Every business, yours included will consist of various processes that are integral for you to operate successfully such as HR and Finance.  As companies grow, usually in an ad-hoc way, new software solutions are integrated into the business. However, often the full functionality of the software is never realised. This may simply be because it wasn’t applicable at the time of installation, but imagine if you have been undertaking a process that could have been made simpler and it was just a press of button away!

Such an example is Batch Reporting in Sage 50/50cloud Accounts which has been available since version 15, but not many people are aware of it. It enables you to configure reports as a batch from a predefined list, saving time and improving productivity. We’ve got plenty more reporting tips from where that came from!

Hopefully, you have come to the conclusion that training will be beneficial to your business, but before you start booking courses, stop and look at your employees. Every one of them is unique and if you’ve spent any time in an education role, you’ll know that everyone learns differently.  In a 1992 study by Neil D. Fleming and Coleen E. Mills they created the acronym ‘VARK’ to describe four modalities of learning.  These different learning styles are – Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing and Kinesthetic.

By opting the right format of training for your employees, it will result in a better outcome for all. Some staff will be more than happy watching a video or presentation, whereas others need to undertake practical application and some need to absorb the information at a much slower pace in their own time.  So, it’s important to be mindful and to remember that not everyone learns the same way you do!

We’ve already discussed that training increases retention, but research also shows that businesses that invest heavily in employee training tend to be more successful and prosperous businesses. One of the most common mistakes made by employers is assuming initial employee training alone is sufficient.  In reality, the benefits of training and development in an organisation are ongoing.  There are numerous mutual benefits for the employer and employee of ongoing training. These include;

  • Increased motivation
  • Improved retention rate
  • Stronger competitive stance
  • Attract new talent
  • Increase profitability through productivity.

At Advantage Services we offer training on Sage 50 Accounts, Payroll and HR as well as ACT! and Excel. All our training is delivered by experts to suit all types of learning styles; on-site, remote, classroom, and self-study. Not only that, our training content is tailored to your needs ensuring that you receive maximum return on investment by enabling your staff to set the training agenda.

Is it time for you to consider improving your processes and empowering your staff to continue to reap the rewards of your software – after all if ‘you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’ For more information call the friendly training team on 0330 335 0011 or email

Posted at 8.18am on 27 April 2021 by Dawn Smiley in category General
Tags: Training