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Understanding The Impact of Training and Learning on Safety, Competitiveness, and ROI

The Impact of Training and Learning on Safety, Competitiveness, and ROI

Staying ahead of the curve isn’t just about having the latest technology or the most innovative products. It's about nurturing and investing in the backbone of any organisation - its people. Training and learning are the catalysts that create a culture of safety and offer a powerful source of competitive advantage and a tangible return on investment (ROI).

At Ligtas, we believe that when health and safety are integrated into an organisation's strategic objectives, they become essential drivers of competitive advantage rather than just compliance or cost centres.

For organisations to view health and safety as a competitive advantage, it's important to recognise that these practices contribute not only to the safety and well-being of their employees but also to (for example) operational efficiency, business continuity, cost reduction, brand reputation, customer satisfaction, and regulatory compliance.

The Ligtas SAFETY Model has been designed to help us help you transform health and safety from a regulatory burden into a strategic asset. It is based on six pillars that cover every aspect of health and safety that matters for your organisation’s success:

  • Safety & Compliance Excellence: Going beyond Compliance to achieve excellence in safety practices, creating a safe working environment.
  • Advancement through Knowledge: Equip your organisation with the latest knowledge and expertise to handle any health and safety challenge.
  • Financial and Commercial Resilience: Boost your operational efficiency and resilience by integrating health and safety into your financial strategy.
  • Enhanced Brand & Reputation: Build trust and loyalty with your customers, employees, and the community by showcasing your strong safety record and commitment.
  • Technology and Innovation: Streamline your safety management processes and improve your outcomes by leveraging technology.
  • Yes to Safety Culture: Develop a positive safety culture in which health and safety are embedded in your organisation’s values and practices.

Pillar two—Advancement through Knowledge: Equip your organisation with the latest knowledge and expertise to handle any health and safety challenge. We want to focus our article on this today.

Cultivating a Culture of Safety Through Knowledge

Training and learning opportunities are fundamental in cultivating a culture of safety within an organisation and contributing to creating a competitive advantage. We know that when employees are regularly trained, they are more aware of the potential hazards and the importance of adhering to safety protocols. Knowledge is power, and in the context of health and safety, this means that by providing these skills, the attitude towards compliance will change. Empowered employees with a can-do attitude will proactively identify and address risks.

It goes without saying that we want an organisation that has a shared commitment to preventing accidents and protecting each other, as this can significantly enhance morale and employee retention.

Organisations that understand the role of training and invest in training accredited by organisations such as NEBOSH and IOSH. These are the crème de la crème of health and safety training. By investing in specialised training, organisations comply with legal requirements and actively demonstrate their commitment to their team's safety and well-being.

This commitment does more than just reduce workplace accidents and incidents, though that alone is a significant benefit. It creates a culture of safety where employees feel valued and protected. When people work in an environment that prioritises their health and safety, where people actually feel safe, loyalty is cultivated, morale is increased, and productivity is enhanced. We discuss this in our article Developing a Strong Workplace Safety Mindset: Feeling Safe vs. Being Safe. These factors are critical in driving a business forward, showing that caring for your workforce is not just the right thing to do but also a smart business strategy. At Ligtas, we like to call that becoming the employer of choice.

Leadership Commitment

At Ligtas, we continue our mantra that leaders must view health and safety not as regulatory burdens but as core values integral to the organisation's identity and success. Health and safety culture begins with a commitment from the top. We hear this all the time. It’s an ageless truth that we need role models who walk the talk. It’s no good talking about strategies, goals, policies and procedures if you are unwilling to commit to them and demonstrate that you value them.

This commitment should be visible and vocal, with leaders communicating their dedication to health and safety in words and actions. Leaders demonstrate that these are non-negotiable aspects of the organisation by prioritising health and safety in strategic plans, budget allocations, and daily operations. When we have the commitment from the top, then that can be communicated down the line.

One of the ways to do this is to start with The IOSH Safety for Executives and Directors course. This course demonstrates leadership commitment by educating leaders on their legal, moral, and financial responsibilities regarding health and safety management. It emphasises the integration of safety objectives with business goals to minimise risks and enhance efficiency. Successful completion awards an IOSH certificate, underscoring the importance of safety leadership at the highest organisational levels. For more detailed information, please visit the IOSH Safety for Executives and Directors course page.

The Value Of Skilled Employees

Having a well-skilled and knowledgeable team is invaluable. Training and continuous learning opportunities are the tools that can give an organisation an edge. It’s not just about equipping your employees with knowledge for the sake of it; it's about empowering them to innovate, solve problems more efficiently, use their brains and have a can-do attitude.

Valuing your employees' expertise can significantly reduce workplace accidents and illnesses, thereby saving costs related to lost workdays, insurance, and potential legal issues. More importantly, they contribute to creating a safer working environment for everyone.

This training needs to begin with induction and be offered continuously as refreshers and upskilling. An effective way to offer this is to invest in a Learning Management System 〈LMS〉 Subscription Service. This way, you can have a set of courses ready for your employees anywhere on their health and safety learning journey.

Competitive Advantage

When it comes to creating a competitive advantage, having a team of highly skilled employees can be a significant differentiator. Organisations that invest in, for example, NEBOSH and IOSH training for their employees demonstrate a commitment to excellence and safety, which can be attractive to potential clients and other stakeholders. Plus, a reputation for prioritising health and safety can be a powerful tool in winning new business and retaining existing clients. It demonstrates your commitment to delivering the highest service standards and shares your values.

Return on Investment

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of investing in training and learning is the tangible ROI it delivers. While some may view this as an expense, forward-thinking organisations understand it as a strategic investment. The benefits are many and interlinked; trained employees are not just safety aware; they are more engaged in the safety of themselves and their fellow employees and have a better attitude towards keeping their environment safe. This reduces costs associated with accidents and non-compliance, positively impacting the bottom line.

However, unlike straightforward investments, quantifying the ROI of health and safety training involves considering both direct and indirect costs and benefits. Naturally, you need to identify the costs associated with the training. Then, you need to quantify the benefits you reap over time, which is often not easy.

In addition to quantitative benefits, consider qualitative benefits such as improved employee satisfaction, enhanced company reputation, and a stronger culture of safety. While these may not directly factor into the ROI calculation, they are important for the overall assessment of the training program's value.

Health and safety training should not be static. Use the insights gained from calculating ROI to continuously improve training programs. This might include adjusting the training content, format, delivery method or frequency based on what has proven most effective.

And let’s not forget the organisation's brand. Reputation is everything. A strong safety culture and a reputation for excellence in employee development can improve your reputation. This helps attract top talent and retain customers who are increasingly looking to do business with ethically responsible companies.

And let’s face it, anything that means you lessen the risk of prosecution has to be worth it.

Investing In Your Organisations Future

As we previously said, training your staff in NEBOSH courses, such as the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, offers numerous benefits that can give your business a competitive edge while ensuring a significant return on investment (ROI).

Using NEBOSH as an example showcases your commitment to health and safety, differentiating your business and giving it a competitive advantage. Plus, NEBOSH courses align with current legal requirements and best practices in health and safety, and going beyond compliance with great training means reduced legal risks. Building trust with stakeholders, including employees, clients, and regulators.

We’ve already said that trained employees are well-versed in identifying, evaluating, and mitigating risks, leading to fewer workplace accidents. This reduces the potential for significant financial losses associated with injuries, legal fees, and compensation claims.

Importantly, a safe workplace where employees feel valued and empowered is a more efficient workplace. Employees who feel safe are likely to be more focused and productive, leading to better output and quality of work.

When considering investing in the NEBOSH course, it’s wise to consider working with an organisation like Ligtas, a NEBOSH Gold Learning Partner. This comes with stringent requirements to ensure learners get the gold standard in training.

The Ongoing Journey Towards Excellence

Investing in training and learning is not a one-time act but a continuous commitment to employee development and organisational growth. By prioritising a culture of safety, organisations not only protect their most valuable asset—their people—but also unlock new avenues for competitive advantage and financial success.

The journey doesn’t stop with implementing a few training programs; it’s about creating an ecosystem where learning is integral to the operational ethos. Ultimately, the message is clear: to grow your business, invest in your people. Their growth translates to your organisation's success, proving that training and learning are essential for safety and compliance and key drivers of competitiveness and ROI. The future belongs to those ready to empower their workforces through continuous learning and development.

Where do you want to go today?