There are many reasons (or excuses) organisations give for not offering staff training or professional development: not enough time, not enough money in the budget, not enough staff to cover absences while training occurs.
But rather than being considered optional, we firmly believe that staff training and professional development should be considered an essential ongoing initiative. In our line of work as investigators, we see numerous claims, allegations and grievances that could, quite simply, have been avoided had the parties involved been attending regular training and professional development.
Here are four reasons we believe regular, targeted training to be well worth the investment.
- Keep expectations clear
We are regularly hired to investigate very different issues that occur for similar reasons. One of the main reasons staff become subject of allegations is because they may not have been aware of policies or procedures, or had inadequate training upon being inducted into the workplace. It is imperative that staff are given clear-cut directives when it comes to carrying out the roles and responsibilities of their positions (such as how company-issued expense cards are to be used, or exactly what constitutes bullying). It is equally important that, if any policies or procedures change, staff are actively made aware of it.
2. Keep staff skills current and relevant
In the realms of mandatory reporting, legislation is constantly being updated or altered. It is vital that all staff are aware of changes in things such as the reporting requirements applicable to their roles. Additionally, care staff must have intimate knowledge of the residents or clients they support – care plans, BSPs, IPRPs – as well as specific training to help them support those same individuals (for example, epilepsy training).
3. Boost productivity
When organisations spend time and effort in training and upskilling their employees, it sends a message that those same employees are respected, valued, important members of the company. On the flipside, when organisations fail to induct staff properly or provide ongoing training or guidance, it sends the message that the same organisation is content to offer little support and does not value its staff. Staff who feel respected, valued and supported work harder and are happier and more capable in the workplace overall.
3. Protect against workers compensation claims
As with the previous point, unsupported staff often feel overworked, out of their depth, stressed, and lack confidence that they are carrying out the roles and responsibilities of their position effectively. This combination of factors is something that we often see pop up in psychological claims. By the same token, when staff are well-trained in the physical components of their jobs (such as proper lifting techniques), physical injury claims can be reduced.
When we undertake investigations, we also conduct a gap analysis for the organisation wherein we provide recommendations for the organisation going forward. These recommendations almost always include some form of training.
In fact, we believe in the remedial effects of training so passionately that we not only offer competitively priced training in the areas we most often investigate, but we have also decided to offer free seminars in Disability and Aged Care in NSW.
These seminars incorporate a real-life, sector-specific scenario, and our panel will unpack the investigative, clinical, HR and workers compensation components of the scenario for participants.