Five Innovative Ways to Enhance Your Staff Training and Development Programme

We are facing an unprecedented skills shortage in the UK, which means that retaining experienced employees is more important than ever. A recent survey by Indeed, association with the BCC, found that employee training ranks second only to pay as a means of retention. So it’s time to get inventive and develop a staff training and development strategy that puts your business head and shoulders above the rest. Here are five innovative ways to go beyond the basics, and take your training programme to the next level.

Train more than just your employees

The Indeed survey revealed that 25% of companies plan to address the skills shortage through recruitment and training, while a larger portion – 30% – will use contractors as a means to plug the gap.

That said, using contractors and investing in training should not be seen as mutually exclusive. A growing number of businesses over in the US are opting to extend their staff training and development provision to those outside the immediate employee base. This includes contractors, apprentices and even attendees of local schools. It’s a long-sighted view that may require an initial outlay, but could pay dividends in the long run.

According to the benefits are three-fold. Firstly, this strategy creates a potential pipeline of workers both now and in the future. Secondly, it develops marketing channels, and thirdly it contributes to companies’ CSR reputation.

Staff Training And Development - Knights Agency

Focus on digital skills

Rapid advancements in digital technologies hold endless possibilities for your business. But digital skills are lacking across a number of industries. While ongoing digital training is par for the course in the tech industry, the need for digital skills has seeped into all of our working lives, from how we use company systems to how we conduct ourselves on social media.

The creative and cultural sector is particularly at risk of falling behind the digital curve, according to a recent report by Creative and Cultural Skills. The industry is characterised by low levels of pay, and therefore often faces difficulty in attracting staff. This, coupled with a lack of staff training and development, has resulted in a third of organisations within the sector reporting skills gaps.

Adding courses such as marketing and communication skills, problem-solving skills and social media skills to your staff training and development programme could help future-proof your business.

Try Virtual Reality

VR is making huge waves in the field of employee training and development. Its ability to recreate almost any situation – from a difficult customer conversation to a fire evacuation – makes it a safe, cost-effective alternative to traditional training. It has been successfully applied in a number of industries, from health to finance, and is proving highly effective when it comes to memory recall. Read more about the benefits of virtual reality here.

Be the whole package

The Indeed survey found that, after remuneration and training, flexible working was another key factor in employee retention. Indeed researcher Tara Sinclair said: “Attitudes to work are changing and salary is no longer the only way employers compete to attract and retain workers. Workers today seek work-life balance – searches for ‘flexible’ jobs on Indeed are at a three-year high, suggesting a growing number of jobseekers start their application with job satisfaction in mind.”

So your employee retention strategy should take a holistic view, looking beyond material benefits and towards a culture of learning, development, flexibility and wellbeing. And while you should expect to see a quick return on investment on your staff learning and development strategy, it’s not just about short term gains. Sinclair added: “A tight labour market – where employer demand for staff is outstripping the supply of workers – places greater emphasis on staff retention, but investing in training should not be viewed as a short-term fix to keep hold of the best talent. Rather, it should be seen as an opportunity for employers of all sizes to unlock the long-term potential in their staff.”

Find a great training company

Of course, carefully selecting a trusted training company to support your staff learning and development plan is key to its success. For a wide variety of courses, delivered by experts, look no further than Knight’s Agency. We’ve got a wide range of training courses on offer, and can provide tailored solutions to meet your needs. Call us on 0207 112 8412 to speak to one of our friendly customer service team, or email us via the form below.

Ready to get started?

Had enough complaints about "boring" training to last you a lifetime? Let us show you what great training looks like!

Get in touch by filling in the contact form, or by using the live chat service at the bottom of the screen. A member of our team is standing by to discuss your requirements and how we can help.

Fill in your details below and a member of our team will get in touch.

Four Seasons Healthcare Group

We had an urgent need to provide training in Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) across our business as a result of the challenges experienced during the first critical months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Knights Absorb worked with us to define a training solution that could be delivered in a ‘Covid-Safe’ manner that would enable us to reach our teams at our target sites within a tight time frame. They trained 277 of our team members across a 6 week period, providing the reassurance we needed to keep our teams and residents safe as well ensuring we were meeting regulatory requirements. The trainers were professional and sensitive to the needs of our homes at all times, and the feedback from everyone who attended the training has been fantastic.

United Response

Knights are now our preferred provider. The quality of training that Knights provides is exceptional. When it comes to Customer Service, Knights excel, in the many years of partnering with multiple companies, Knights are head and shoulders above the rest. Never phased by challenges that clients provide, Knights naturally deal with the issues, assess the need and make the correct decision for the customer. This is not to say they bend over or wilt when challenged, quite the opposite, they seem to scope issues and resolve them efficiently, a customer service ethic that is quite rare. Keep up the good work guys, it is noticed and appreciated.


Knights don’t use generic trainers but find the best trainer for the course and client. The trainers are specialists in their fields and have practitioner experience which I feel is always important when delivering to staff. Trainers discuss our needs before attending training and revise training to meet specific needs.


Knights have personalised courses to meet our learning and development needs. As predominately a learning disability/Autism provider we require trainers and courses that reflect these specific needs and Knights have delivered on this. All courses have met our requirements fully

Modus Care

Knights Training are an organisation that are easy to work with, reliable, operate a competitive straight forward pricing structure, offer an impressive range of courses and employ good quality trainers who have expert subject knowledge, certainly an organisation that I would recommend.