Training and the new employee

Training new staff can be time consuming and a cost to your business. Not only does it use up precious staff time it takes a while for new employees to become an asset financially. The ideal new employee is an individual who can immediately take up the reigns of any job given with little input required, save the rudimentary induction programme. Although these qualities in your new employee are desired they are also generally unrealistic.

Even the most competent new employee will need some guidance in understanding your product, service and method of working.

Factors to consider

WATA - Training and new staff

The voice of experience – use it don’t lose it

With many companies facing the challenge of an ageing workforce, skills and experience can easily be lost through retirement.

Most managers will know members of their team that have extensive knowledge that has been nurtured through years of experience. This is a tangible resource that a training course can’t supply.
Use this knowledge to your advantage by utilising your staff’s skills. This is especially beneficial when you have apprentices. The structured apprenticeship programme can be enhanced with mentoring from experienced staff and managed well can excel your Apprentice’s knowledge, encourage a good work ethos and speed up the process of giving you an effective member of staff. Government grants are available for Apprenticeships, for more information contact

Assuming competence

What are the two main selling points for every job seeking candidate? Experience and qualifications. After sifting through countless CV’s, whittling them down and interviewing the potentials, you have to ascertain whether you have found the right candidate. Sector specific qualifications are valuable and a good indicator of capability however it shouldn’t be taken for granted that the candidate’s skills are current, there is still a responsibility to check your employee’s competence in the work place.
Training records and monitoring job specific competence with a training matrix or similar can assist with this and should be a given in any business. This will enable you to assign the correct jobs to the right skill level, time manage effectively and most importantly ensure the safety of employees and others that may be affected by work carried out. Knowing your staff’s skills can improve your business performance from assigning the right employees to planned maintenance tasks to experienced staff carrying out problem solving on breakdowns. Taking the time to produce a training needs analysis for your department will in turn improve your processes and procedures.

Upskilling – Utilising your staff effectively

Do you have an employee that you can upskill? There are many benefits to upskilling your existing staff. You already know their reliability, they already have knowledge of your business and investing in their future will keep your employees engaged and motivated. Conversely recognising potential in an employee doesn’t guarantee they are keen to change their role. A well run appraisal system can help you identify the potential and willingness of employees to progress.

Transferable Skills

Finding the right candidate to employ can be a challenge whether it is due to lack of experience, industry knowledge or simply a wrong ‘fit’ for your team.
A largely untapped resource are ex-service personnel many of whom have experience that can be easily transferable. This can mean that training requires less time investment.  Ex-service personnel can bring many qualities  to business such as

-  Practical skills – e.g. Mechanical and Electrical Engineering

-  Excellent time keeping – The ability to complete projects and meet deadlines effectively

-  Working under pressure – Making the right decision which can mean the difference between completing projects successfully and losing customers or contracts

-  Organisational Skills – The ability to work through processes methodically whilst having the capability to adapt quickly to unexpected changes

-  Motivational Skills – Being keen to learn and having a positive, self-starting persona that can be essential in delivering work projects on time whilst maintaining quality and performance.

Does investing in training cost time and money? Initially yes however considerations when selecting new staff and training effectively will save your business money in the long term. It will help keep employees and others safe, keep staff motivated, and help streamline your business processes.

If you would like WATA to discuss your company’s training needs contact us on 01480 435544 or email