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Greg Carter: Have you thought about your employees and in particular how they are developing, in the last few months?

Any business owner will want to see their team performing strongly and honing their skills. Surprisingly, though, research has found that it can be difficult to get employees interested in leadership training. Why might this be? For business owners and senior managers, it’s critical to invest in the development of team members.

Staffing costs are invariably a significant expenditure, whatever the sector. This makes it crucially important to train employees to handle more responsibility, especially when compared to the potential costs of training up new hires from scratch. To make matters worse, more than 80 per cent of SMEs have said that they find it difficult to access the skills they need. At the same time, a London Stock Exchange study conducted earlier this year concluded that north west SMEs were growing faster than the UK average.

This is great news, but continued growth may only make it more difficult for SMEs to fill skills gaps.When businesses are struggling to find skills on the open market, surely it’s good business sense to invest in training and development for employees. The problem may lie in how directors and other leaders approach training.

Enrolling employees on courses can appear cost-intensive; meanwhile, the time taken to develop promising colleagues and broaden their responsibilities might seem onerous. In my view, though, these are costs that offer the potential for exponential returns over the longer term.

As well as all this, development and training can be a real differentiator when it comes to company culture. Business owners looking to make their employer brands stand out should think about ways that they can develop their employees. It can be a meaningful investment.

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