Employee learning and development can transform practices in several ways as I will outline below. With increasing frequency practices are starting to make more conscious, coordinated efforts to offer employees learning and training beyond the initial new hire induction. And it’s paying dividends as employees seem to be more engaged, and these practices are financially healthier and more fulfilling.
So What Are the Benefits of Employee Learning and Training
Employee Performance Improves
Team member efficiency and effectiveness improve with new or enhanced skills as employees work faster and make fewer mistakes. With cross training employees can cover for absent colleagues more easily. Efficiently and effectively training new employees can significantly reduce the time to productivity saving tremendous costs and increasing revenues as employees become rapidly productive.
Employee Engagement Improves
An engaged employee is involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work. Employees can often feel stuck and unmotivated in a so-called dead-end job when there are no learning opportunities offered in the company. Most employees are reported to be dis-engaged from their work. Organisations that have achieved higher levels of employee engagement have done so in part because they invested in employee development, learning and training. Training improves employee performance and can also offer new career prospects which results in higher levels of satisfaction in their job – this translates into higher engagement. Because employee engagement is often infectious it can transform less motivated employees.
Higher Perception of Value for Clients
This is achieved through better Service Delivery and Client Education. Ultimately improved team knowledge, skills and behaviours better serves our patients and clients. Consistently doing work well and giving clearer explanations of services and products in a manner that clients better appreciate and understand leads to higher perception of value and a willingness to pay for healthcare. To be differentiated from the competition it is not so much what the service is but HOW IT IS DELIVERED – knowing what to say and do, when to say it and do it, and how to say it and do it. This is what value is all about.
Higher Compliance with Recommendations
A goal every practice needs is to have the best pet-healthcare-educated clients. This is because these client will then make the best healthcare decisions for their pets, so allowing us to perform those veterinary tasks that make pets’ lives better. When clients are happy with the service and value that their practice provides, then they take up their recommendations more easily and rapidly.
Higher Revenues Profits and Satisfaction Levels
Employee training requires a significant investment in time and resources. The right training done the right way will keep clients happy and loyal with high levels of service and product compliance which then translates into a steady and often predictable flow of income e.g. from a practice health plan. The return on investment of a well designed and implemented employee learning and training programme is high, making it worthwhile and fulfilling for the practice owner. By improving employee efficiency and productivity, training increases practice revenues and profit directly. Reducing recruitment and retention costs also results in cost savings and hence increased profits.
Reduced Recruitment Costs
Employee retention rates increase. Finding a new employees and losing them after you found them, is one of the biggest frustrations for veterinary practices and is a major contributor to financial uncertainty and instability. Increasing employee retention is one of the main reasons that one should consider training and development of employees.
Attracting and Keeping the Best Candidates
Nowadays job candidates often evaluate you before they even decide to apply for a job at your practice. They will check whether you’re offering employees high-quality support and development opportunities or not. The best candidates will choose those practices that give them the skills and knowledge, the competencies, they need to grow in their careers. Therefore offering quality employee training and development can make a great difference in who applies for jobs. It can be a clear advantage over other practices that don’t. Once they experience the opportunities you offer why would they go elsewhere?
Our team is our greatest advantage over the competition. Our team is mainly what differentiates one practice from another. And the key differentiator of one team over the other is their knowledge, skills and behaviours. These can only be optimised through committed, targeted and effective team learning and training.
Learning and training is possibly the only long-term solution to building a workforce that can easily adapt to the rapidly evolving veterinary world and as such is a strong competitive advantage that protects against corporate discounting.
A better trained and educated the team -> higher team engagement -> higher team performance -> better service delivery and education of clients -> higher client value perception -> increased compliance -> improved practice results: revenues, profits, satisfaction.
Random acts of learning and training have short term benefits, if any. Long term benefits are only possible from consistent and carefully designed and planned learning, training and development programmes. Programmes which are also aligned with specific practice objectives.
In summary, implementing learning and training programmes for employees forms a strong foundation for an engaged and productive team which is ultimately the key to a profitable and fulfilling practice.
The practice with the best educated TEAM and CLIENTS wins!