The current, uncertain economic environment has most executives and managers on edge. Market fluctuations keep companies from expanding or making new investments.
In Malaysia, a slowdown in export growth, a weak ringgit, while rising interest rates in the United States, along with physical consolidation is putting a brake on government consumption, and this is likely to persist over the medium, economists say. As a result, growth prospects for Malaysian in 2017 remain subdued.
The Malaysian economy grew 4.2 percent in 2016, its slowest rate of growth since the global recession in 2009. Amidst this challenging outlook, the knee-jerk reaction for companies is to begin cutting costs within the organisation. Slashed training budgets are a common casualty of tough economic times, but organizations that continue to remain focused on training are those that will benefit in the long run.
During a recession, training is a valuable tool for reinforcing a company’s culture, generating cost savings, and preparing for economic upturns. While recessions and periods of reduced economic activity, tend to set off alarm bells, the average length of a recession is only about 11 months. This means that recessions are relatively short-lived events
Why are these leading companies continuing to invest in training despite a challenging environment?
- Companies can reduce costs when they deliver their products or services right first time, every time. Training staff to understand this, and importantly, to do it, lowers overall costs and improves the experience that companies can deliver to their customers. And that creates revenue.
- Employee satisfaction directly relates to customer satisfaction, and to sales. When bonus payments and pay rises are not in the budget then training becomes an investment that can be made in every employee’s future.
- Managers in companies may not have had to manage in tough times before. Investing in management development training builds the skills they need to manage their people through challenging times and helps reduce the loss of the best talent from the organisation.
- Retaining loyal customers is much cheaper than finding new ones and most of the experience that customers have is driven by employees. Customer experience training can create competitive differentiation and be the deciding factor when customers make critical purchasing decisions.
- When training budgets are being cut the best suppliers may be the smaller, innovative companies with great ideas and low overheads. They understand the need to keep budgets tight, deliver great value, and help build for the future. They give value for money, lower cost per head and a better returns on investment.
While economic challenges persist, it may not last for long and successful companies are the ones that will be ready to take advantage of the upturn when it emerges. Retaining and enhancing skills during the downturn will mean that far-sighted companies will be the first to the new opportunities when they present themselves, rather than scurrying around to hire back and retrain the lost talents.
In conclusion, choosing a great training partner can really companies to come up with new ideas, find ways to lower costs whilst increasing returns on investment, and drive sustainable improvement in their businesses. After all, if a company helps its clients do well, the company will also do well.
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