Regular Staff Training Can Boost Employee and Customer Satisfaction — Here's How
Taking time to hire highly qualified, diverse water lab employees is always worthwhile. Because they arrive with a solid foundation of knowledge, they're able to contribute immediate value to your organization. But even employees with the expertise to fulfill their current lab responsibilities will need additional training during their tenure.
Why? Because water testing is an ever-changing industry. As a lab manager, you'll need to keep employees up to date on the latest technology, trends, regulations, and tests to stay compliant and competitive. Sometimes, this means pulling them away from projects to participate in a staff training program.
In the short term, training can seem like something that gets in the way of real work. But in the long run, this investment in your employees will pay off significantly. Here are four core benefits you can expect from implementing a regular training program, and how this process can improve client relationships, too.
1. Higher-Quality Output
Regular staff training enables you to continually address the individual strengths and weaknesses of your employees, and develop a better understanding of how they can work together as a team. It also provides an opportunity for them to learn valuable lessons from one another.
Use regular training sessions to dive into changes on regulations, technical processes, and quality assurance metrics that may impact accreditation. The net effect of these knowledge sharing sessions? Enhanced performance and productivity across your entire workforce. These sessions, which can be quick and casual or more formal, will be crucial in helping your lab meet the needs and expectations of its growing client base.
2. Team Solidarity and Strength
Well-trained teams are more prepared to take on a wide range of projects and challenges. And as the group's experience grows, so do the bonds between its members.
As Lab Manager explains, well-built teams encompass a strategic range of "talent blocks" — including technical, analytic, creative, and relational competencies, among others — that employees can share and build upon together. For instance, one team member might be an expert in internal auditing, while another might excel at delivering touchy test results. When employees with complementary skills work together, sharing their knowledge as they go, the result is a close-knit workforce that'll only get stronger over time.
3. Professional Development
It's natural for lab employees to have ambitions to learn, take on more responsibility, and rise in the organization. Regular training is a way to outfit them for their futures. It also enables you to develop and tap into an increasing depth of technical and operational experience, which will invariably benefit your organization and its clients.
According to Chron, employees who participate in regular career development opportunities, coaching, or ongoing support become more capable and confident. In turn, they'll be able to pursue and achieve their — and your organization's — goals faster, more efficiently, and more successfully.
4. Ability to Adapt
Change is constant in this industry. Regulations change. Clients change. The underlying science and techniques of water testing change. Through regular staff training, you can build an adaptable workforce that's armed to take on these shifts and keep workflows churning.
However, some of your employees might shut down if they fear a change will disrupt their work-life balance, create a heavier or unfamiliar workload, or threaten their jobs. Providing training sessions that are consistent and timely, with ample time for questions, will go a long way toward placating many of their fears while allowing your lab to remain competitive.
A big part of preparing your team for change comes from you establishing and maintaining open communication with them. Consistent employee engagement means communicating changes far in advance, letting your staff know how the future direction and strategy of the organization may affect them. When they understand what lies ahead, they may feel more at ease and more trusting of you and the organization.
Well-Trained Teams Lead to Happy Customers
Few workplaces rely on up-to-date scientific, technical, and organizational knowledge for long-term business success as much as water testing labs do. When you make consistent training a priority, your employees will:
- Be able to perform their duties better.
- Feel more confident in their roles.
- Further foster your lab's reputation as an efficient and professional operation.
Not only that but when an employee feels supported by management and set up for success, they're likely to feel happier at work. And, as Forbes asserts, happier employees can make for happier customers.
Training is one of the best ways you can support your employees. To do it effectively will take time and money, though. However, it's an effort that's well worth the resources, as it benefits your employees, your customers, and, ultimately, your bottom line.