Why bother with Training: The business case for upskilling your workforce

5 min 2 March 2023

By Vickie Birnie, FSP Training Lead, Digital Change & Adoption 

Is training worth the money?

With so many demands on both budget and time, is it really worth the bother to invest in training? Our Training Lead, Vickie Birnie, explains why it is a valuable investment. 

FSP training specialises in equipping a range of users to adopt new technology.   

What do we mean by ‘training’?   

When FSP talks about training, we mean:   

Supporting people to get the skills they need to do something differently.  

Training needs arise whenever something changes, something new is introduced, or we discover better ways to do things. Meeting these needs can happen through courses, or via designing bespoke materials for people to access as and when they need them.   

Even the best training will only get people so far; they need support to apply the learning in their day-to-day roles, and structured content to help ‘fight the forgetting curve’. That’s why we advise a programme of activities to reinforce learning. We also provide extra support to help line managers play their crucial role in giving feedback and encouraging practice.   

“I would really recommend this course to everyone in my team. It opened my eyes to all I can do via SharePoint. At the start I had the cheek at the start to say I thought my knowledge of SharePoint was okay. Within minutes I was learning things I’ve never known before – and quickly realised I didn’t know as much as I thought!”

Most of us find it hard work to adopt new ways of working and technology. Many of us might fear looking foolish because we can’t immediately pick up and run with new tech. We all need a helping hand to adopt new ways of doing things that help our organisations gain the full benefits from their investment. 

Sounds sensible, right? And yet when it comes to upskilling new users, sometimes there is a reluctance to invest in training. Have you ever thought or heard of any of these?

‘It’s intuitive, people will pick it up’ or ‘We are communicating what people need to do differently, so we’re covered’

These are the type of comments we sometimes hear expressed.  

We believe passionately in the value of training, and we recognise that it is an investment with a clear business case.

Business Case for Investing in Training:

1) Change in the environment creates a need for new skills  

The skills of your workforce are vital to meet current and future business demands. Automation, AI, cloud capabilities and new ways of working have increased the need for workforce agility, and the ability of organisations to reskill employees to meet changing job needs.

Hybrid working is also here to stay, so it is even more essential for people to feel supported to gain the skills they need in a more dispersed environment. We can’t just lean across and ask a colleague for help! The need for training is greater than ever. 

2) Building a learning culture is key to thriving in a rapidly changing world

The nature of work is changing, forcing organisations to adapt to embrace new competition and complex challenges. Organisations that invest in supporting people to learn can improve in-house capability and confidence to adapt and change in future. By encouraging training and learning, you are more ready to adopt the next change with minimum disruption.

This ability to develop learning as an organisational capability gives you the competitive advantage of an agile workforce.  

3) Training supports the adoption of new technology 

Most organisations are now aware of the benefits of a change management programme to bring people with them on a change journey. Training is an essential part of this journey, giving the time to build and practice skills in a safe environment.  

With our packages of initial training and then extended support (e.g. live FAQs, ‘Ask us anything’ drop-ins, bespoke infographics), we give people the confidence and capability to use new tools.

Training allows our customers to gain the benefits they invest in – reducing calls to the support desk and decreasing the number of unauthorised apps that are used.

As Microsoft put it, “we’ve seen so many times that training is very valuable for any type of product. Even a ‘simple’ product can be challenging for users if they’ve never seen it before!”

A long-term study on the adoption of Teams found that people who received training “were more adept at working with Teams and quicker to adopt all the communications features.”

Where even one user in a team had been trained, all members of that team used the tool more frequently and were faster to exploit all the features.

Our clients also tell us that their people feel more engaged, valued, and supported because of training.

As an organisation, investment in training signals your commitment to driving the change and supporting people through it. Without this investment, what signals are you sending people about the importance of upskilling? And if people can’t use the new tools, you won’t gain the benefits you are looking for. However good those tools are.

4) Training builds skills and performance  

Training and learning support individual and organisational performance. We need new skills when:  

  1. Something is NEW – learning for the first time, e.g., how do I use SharePoint? 
  2. Something CHANGES – e.g., when Teams brings new ways of working and we ‘unlearn’ sending email attachments to learn how to use live document collaboration 
  3. We need to do MORE – building on foundations, e.g., using tools in sophisticated ways to manage projects 
  4. Things go wrong, and we need to SOLVE issues 
  5. We ASPIRE – to know and do more, e.g., developing skills for the next step in career progression

5) Training is key to your people strategy 

Several studies found that access to training: 

  • Increases employee retention rates – learning opportunities are also very influential when deciding to accept a new job
  • Improves productivity  
  • Improves job satisfaction – in turn creating a resilient, positive culture
  • Boosts innovation and creativity 
  • Strengthens core skills like communication, collaboration and problem-solving 
  • Enables people to be more adaptive and flexible  
  • Group training also allows for the social aspect of learning – if your people feel connected, they are more confident to apply what they have learned and more likely to persevere with adopting the change

Why FSP training?  

We are experts in digital change & adoption, delivering tailored training, communication and support strategies to engage and upskill your people, accelerating your progress.   

Our training is designed for you and how your organisation works. If you have a workforce who are less familiar with technology, we may advise running training courses. This enables social learning and allows for live questions. 

If you have a self-directed learning culture, we can support ‘learning in the flow of work’ – with organisational specific materials that people use as and when they need.  

We work with you to find the right combination to unlock learning and potential, make the change stick, and get the most from your technology.  

Contact us at info@fsp.co to see how we can help you move forward with confidence.  

What happens if you don’t provide training? 

In summary (we could go on!) if training isn’t included in a project;  

  • Adoption will take longer 
  • The full benefits of your technology investment won’t be realised 
  • Ways of working will remain inconsistent 
  • Staff confidence and capability will be affected, which will affect performance 
  • You risk creating disaffected staff or losing people   
  • You won’t develop learning and agility as organisational advantages 
  • Your people won’t have the skills to deliver on organisational priorities

Supporting Evidence

Learning and skills at work survey 2021 (cipd.co.uk)
Why SharePoint Training is Important | Microsoft Learn
Microsoft Teams adoption strategy prepares employees for a new culture of work
Millennials Want Jobs to Be Development Opportunities (gallup.com)