By Maria Lahiffe
“Employers recognise the value in having a skilled workforce, but all too often, they treat training as something of an afterthought. Particularly when the finances are tight, skills development programmes are one of the first things to be sacrificed.
“However, failing to spend on [staff] training is a major false economy. Employers need to realise they are investing in the future of their organisation.” 
Investing in training your staff can bring numerous benefits, including:
A typical not-for-profit staff person is a smart, hard-working subject-matter expert. Since NFP teams are typically small, we almost always are called upon to do work which is outside our expertise. All of these skills are learnable, but trial and error is a lengthy process. Until these ancilliary skills are mastered, we are less effective than we could be, in achieving our organizational mandates. Training can help us meet the needs of our stakeholders more effectively.
Training involves some expense; however, this can rapidly be repaid in improved effectiveness in achieving your organizational mandate. If your organization offers fee-for-service, then that means more fees can be collected. If you rely on grants, then you will have evidence of better achievements, which will allow you to ask for more financial support.
Volunteer Ottawa’s Education program offers high-quality training at extremely low rates, which means your financial investment in employee training can be very low, in order to reap these benefits.
Your organization serves an important social purpose, which is not going to disappear any time soon. It is vital that you prepare for the future by developing potential managers and executives. Training is an important part of this process.
Staff have a responsibility to themselves to grow continually in their careers. If you neglect staff training, your team members may consider that there is no real future for them within your organization, certainly in the long term. This is likely to impact morale, commitment, and possibly performance.
You may be thinking, “What if I invest in my staff, and they leave?” To this we would respond, “What if you don’t invest in your staff, and they stay?” People always remember when they have been treated with respect, and pay it back through word of mouth support or future volunteering.
Want to learn more? Come to an upcoming workshop.
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Volunteer Ottawa offers a comprehensive suite of courses related to all aspects of running a non-profit or a charity. Click here for our event calendar. Subscribe to our Event RSS Feed to be among the first to know when a new workshop is added to the schedule.
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