Survey highlights need for more relevant business training

By Wright Communications

The Colmar Brunton-David Forman Business Training Survey asked workers about the training they receive, and revealed how effectively businesses are spending their training dollar.

David Forman Managing Director Olivia Blaylock says the results emphasise how crucial it is for businesses to source professional training which is tailored to their employees' needs.

"At the moment, it's obvious the training dollar could be spent better. If New Zealand Inc is to become more competitive internationally, we have to ensure our workers are trained to reach their full potential.

"Continuous learning and skill development is a priority for switched on employees, and the survey revealed a strong interest from employees in developing leadership, management and personal effectiveness skills. That is really encouraging and highlights an area businesses should focus investment in.

"But it is sobering that half of those surveyed felt their training wasn't going to help them do their job better."

Significant international research has shown that training is retained much more by staff if they believe it relates to their career development, she says: "So it is really concerning that so many thought their training wasn't relevant to their career goals."

While about half reported receiving technical skill development training in the previous year, only 17 per cent said they had received training related to customer service, and 12 per cent sales skills; when it came to what they want in the next year, less than 10 per cent of respondents were after more training in sales skills or customer service.

"Both of those statistics are extremely worrying, because sales and customer skills are absolutely crucial aspects of business success, and an area where New Zealand lags behind many of its competitors," says Olivia Blaylock.

"Whether they recognise it or not, everyone who works for a business is a salesperson, from the CEO to the warehouse operator, or the receptionist. New Zealand's mentality towards sales needs to change."

Training investment is known as a key to ensuring staff remain loyal and committed, with a third of people surveyed wanting more training.

"That is a significant group. The survey has shown that the key is for organisations to get the balance of quality and quantity right, and spend their training dollar on the most effective training available."

The Colmar Brunton-David Forman Business Training Survey was carried out by Colmar Brunton online in May 2012. The sample was representative of the New Zealand online population by age, gender, and location. The margin of error at the 95 per cent confidence level is +/- 3.4%.


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