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Should Firms Require Employees to Engage in Training?

Should you require your employees to learn and earn credentials even if those credentials are not required for compliance? A year ago, you might have answered that question easily. But the answer may seem less obvious today. 

You know that world events are challenging your employees in ways big and small. From pandemic fears, to work from home transitions, they’re juggling more than ever. Under these conditions, you might wonder if continuous learning should really be a top priority. 

Obviously, some training is essential. For example, there’s no question that all Certified Financial Professionals must continue to learn, at least for 25 hours a year. But what about training for compliance officers and others whose credentialing is voluntary? Should you require employees to pursue training not required by regulatory bodies? 

Even during the pandemic, the answer is yes. Here are four reasons why. 

1. Training and credentialing improve the firm’s reputation 

Your reputation is one of your most valuable assets. Learning and training improve your reputation among both clients and job seekers. When you highlight employee learning, you reassure clients that your firm is in touch with the demands of the industry. You showcase your desire to continuously improve. The client can be more confident in the firm’s ability to navigate the challenges we are all facing. Meanwhile, job seekers see training as a signal that the employer cares about employees and is willing to invest in their development. 

2. Clients trust trained professionals

Imagine you’re looking for a babysitter for your child. You have the choice between a person with no certifications and one certified in child care first aid and CPR. Which one do you choose?  

The answer is equally obvious for clients of your firm. They often feel more confident in the abilities of a professional who has undergone training and certification. Ongoing training reassures them that your employees bring the most current, relevant skills to the table. 

3. Training helps your firm respond to change

Certification of compliance officers is voluntary today. Will that always be the case? Anyone who has been in this industry for a while knows that regulatory requirements change over time. When they do, they tend toward increased regulation and higher standards. Requiring training that the industry sees as voluntary can help your firm avoid a scramble to meet new training standards when the time comes. 

Of course, these types of changes don’t happen every day. But the industry does continue to evolve. Continuous learning keeps your employees plugged into the stream of new technologies, tools, and insights. It helps them forecast changes and respond when they arrive. 

4. Continuous learning keeps employees engaged

Consider a trip you take regularly. Maybe it’s the road between your house and your office. How closely do you pay attention to the scenery? Most likely, you hardly notice the scene outside your windscreen unless something changes along the route. Construction or a new sign on a building might pique your interest, but otherwise, you might as well have teleported from one place to the other. 

Now imagine a detour sends you off on a different road, one you’ve rarely driven. Are you paying more attention now? This is what training can do for employees. It pushes them off their familiar road and invites them to explore new trails. 

According to Gallup, employees are more engaged when:

  • They have opportunities to learn and grow
  • Someone at work encourages their development
  • The people they work with are committed to doing quality work. 

Engaged employees stay in their jobs longer and do better work. That alone seems like a powerful reason to invest in continuous learning.

Provide opportunities for continuous learning

The challenges of the pandemic haven’t erased the benefits of continuous learning. If anything, employee engagement, trust, and the ability to respond to change are even more important these days. As long as you provide flexible training programs and time for development, required training can improve the employee experience and your firm’s reputation. 

Oliver can help you expand training opportunities for your employees. We provide professional learning and compliance training solutions tailored to the needs of your organization to give you a competitive advantage within your industry. Contact an Oliver compliance training expert to find out how. 

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