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Employee Enhancement Through Training (Part 1)

A look at training options, ‘upskilling’

STAUNTON, Va. — A great question for the hiring professional: If you were given a choice between two different doctors—one was trained, the other not—which one would you choose?  

Trained, right?  

But what if there as was no “up-front” cost for the untrained doctor? You still wouldn’t do it? Probably not, since the training required for a doctor is so specialized.

However, many business owners do not recognize the importance, and value, of employee training.

Companies want to hire qualified employees, but many of them employ underqualified workers. Why do employees become underqualified? The answers point to changing technology or the development of new methods.  

Training does come with a cost because the biggest resources used for job training are time, money and materials, which are used as excuses why it doesn’t happen. Sometimes, third parties are needed, which is an additional cost. However, and more importantly, not training your employees also leads to significant costs. 

Listed below are consequences of untrained employees within an organization:

  1. Inefficiency—More time and money spent; it takes them longer to do the work.
  2. They have a low production value—Quality of work is lower and of less value.
  3. Untrained employees = unhappy employees and customers—Employees who feel underachieving, unsupported and inadequate are unhappy. This causes the employee not to care about their work, underperform, be unsatisfied in their work and make mistakes, which can lead to lost business and customers.
  4. Increased costs for miscellaneous expenses.
  5. Lost money/time due to mistakes.

TRAINING OPTIONS

There are many training types that can and are being utilized in the laundry industry:

  1. Skills training provides employees the means to perform their jobs. This can be executed in-house and can include the use of a mentor.
  2. Quality training familiarizes all employees with the resources to produce a good-quality product. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is implemented to set the standard on quality for most environmental and production situations. ISO training can be done in-house or externally (ISO 9000 is the set of standards for quality management; ISO14000 is for the environmental management).
  3. Managerial training is performed when someone is ready to take on a management role.
  4. Safety training is a vital part of a company to make sure they are meeting Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. This type of training ensures employees are protected from injuries caused by work-related accidents.
  5. Team training is designed to empower teams to improve problem-solving, decision-making and team-development skills to achieve business results.
  6. Professional training is usually performed externally in order to obtain certification or specific information needed to perform a job. 
  7. Technical training involves software and other programs that employees will utilize at the company.
  8. Soft skills do not relate directly to the job but are very important. This may focus on training someone on how to better perform their job with tweaking communication, social graces, personality traits and personal habits that are used to characterize relationships with other people.

When considering training avenues for your employees for the textile/laundry industry, there are many resources available. It is just a matter of taking advantage of these opportunities. Here are a few ideas.

The Laundry & Linen College provides training in laundry processing and linen distribution and utilization for individuals in the United States and abroad. This program is a premier resource for developing skilled, informed and accomplished laundry professionals. It is offered twice a year, spring and fall, for five days in Richmond, Ky. 

The Clean Show is an all-inclusive location to view new products, technology, meet with industry experts in regards to equipment, attend and participate in educational sessions, and meet with guest speakers on a broad scope of topics that can be utilized for the laundry industry.  The Clean Show is the main event for the laundering, dry cleaning and textile services industry.  

Mark your calendars for upcoming Clean Show events: 

  • Atlanta, June 10-13, 2021.
  • Orlando, May 18-21, 2023.
  • Las Vegas, June 9-12, 2025.

As a member or non-member, laundry-affiliated associations (ALM, TRSA, etc.) provide access to webinars, seminars (LinkedIn.com Training Seminars), textile management educational and leadership conferences, opportunities to listen and communicate with panels of experts within the industry, subscriptions to magazines with informative information, and laundry plant and equipment manufacturer tours.  

Training workshops are interactive trainings where participants are involved in a number of “hands-on” training activities, rather than listening to a lecture or presentation.

Webinars offer unique benefits to train employees because they are live, virtual events that are executed online. Webinars:

  1. Save time and money in eliminating the need to travel.
  2. Increase productivity.
  3. Can keep track of who attended due to the log-in requirement.
  4. The webinar process is professional and gives a good impression of company.
  5. Increase employee engagement and can be viewed at all times because they are recorded and saved.

Employees obtaining certifications within the industry allow you to gain a competitive advantage and retain your best employees/managers. Certification is an investment in your employees, your career, your livelihood, business and your future.   

UPSKILLING, RESKILLING 

Upselling is a key word for professions today, especially in our industry, but a new urgent term for professional training and development is called upskilling, which is improving your current skills.   

Employees are more enticed to join a company that offers opportunities to learn. They don’t have the time or money to invest in upskilling outside of work, so an employer offering this type of training will attract employees.   

To boost morale, employee satisfaction and succession planning, training and development programs are now a must in order to retain top talent. 

When an employee learns new skills so they can do a different job, this is called reskilling. 

This will allow the employees to put themselves in a position to take the next step in their career path within the company, and that’s a win-win situation. 

The employee receives a desired promotion, and the company gets to fill an important position with an experienced, skilled worker who has plenty of knowledge and can hit the ground running.  

Upskilling programs can cost money, but provide ROI (return on investment). It is cheaper and often easier to tackle skills gaps in your company by training current employees, rather than hiring new ones.  

There are costs involved when you have to replace employees due to the recruitment and hiring process, advertising the position, other individuals and manager’s time, which takes from their job responsibilities.  

Check back Thursday for ideas on employee selection and retention.