This guest blog post is provided by the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills, which aims to improve the skills Canadians need to adapt and succeed at work.

Your ability to improve business productivity and competitiveness is directly linked to the investments you make in developing your workers' essential skills; however, the barriers associated with providing training may seem too challenging. You may be concerned about the costs and time associated with training, and whether the investment will produce the expected results. But don't be discouraged — there are solutions to help address these hurdles!

Cost

You will see greater value for money if you find ways to reduce costs. Here are some cost-effective ways you can access training:

  • Use online training or web-based seminars.
  • Contact local employer groups such as industry associations, chambers of commerce and boards of trade for existing training or support.
  • Have trained employees train other workers.
  • Access federal, provincial or territorial government programs that support workplace training.

Time

Balancing operational requirements with workplace training can present a scheduling challenge. You will see better results if you are flexible about how training is delivered. For example:

  • Deliver training in short bursts or during slow work periods.
  • Streamline training as much as possible.
  • Implement informal training such as mentoring, changing an employee's responsibilities or rotating jobs.

Putting training to use

You will achieve greater success if you provide training that is meaningful and relevant to your workplace. Here are some ways to ensure workers will apply their new knowledge and skills in the workplace:

  • Align the training program with your organizational goals and business needs.
  • Link training to employees' duties.
  • Provide opportunities to apply learning on the job.

Training programs are worth the effort and open the door to opportunities to grow and improve how your business is run. Work smarter and implement an efficient training program to get the most out of your investment.