A seismic shift has occurred. Employees have a different mindset these days when it comes to their work— and their expectations of their employers and employee experience. They are giving companies their blood, sweat, tears, and time away from family and friends and they (rightly) want to know, “What’s in it for me?”
Employee development through learning and development opportunities is crucial to keeping and attracting talent. It’s also critical to creating a positive employer brand.
The value of training employees has been undervalued by many until recently. If you as an employer are not engaging your employees, it takes next to nothing to poach them away. Always on the defensive and needing to re-hire— is that a situation you want to be in?
Pandemic-induced shuffling and shortages laid out the case for employee training investment. The new learning and development buzzwords are “upskill” and “reskill,” but the words go beyond trend.
It’s simple— companies that do not invest in their people will fall behind.
Interested in knowing more as to why you should invest in training employees? Here are seven benefits of spending money to give your employees the training they deserve.
What are the Benefits of Investing in Employee Training and Development?
1. Training opportunities increase employee retention.
Many workers want more than the traditional compensation plan and incentives. The quit levels during the pandemic showed us that. The top reason for their departure? It's a lack of training and career development opportunities.
This is obvious enough– people are likely to stay in a given position when they feel supported and encouraged by their organization. Employees with a better understanding of their job will also have higher performance. Worth noting here is that development also greatly increases job satisfaction and loyalty. All in all, a good recipe for a positive employee experience.
2. Training (even re-training or “reskilling”) is cheaper than replacing.
Training and retaining existing talent is generally much more cost-effective than it is to bring on new hires to replace them. (Many companies learned this lesson the hard way during the pandemic when employees quit and the appropriate talent pool was slim).
It is estimated that the cost of replacing an employee in the U.S. is roughly one-half to two times the employee's annual salary. When you pull out a calculator and start playing the numbers game, even $2000 a year in training costs doesn’t seem like such a financial burden in comparison.
Aside from any direct expenses, a high turnover rate significantly affects the morale and productivity of those who stay, not to mention, the company’s ability to attract new hires. Think about it, would you go to a company where you knew the employee turnover rate was high?
3. Regular training and “upskilling” are a must for keeping current with market changes.
Worrying about getting ahead in the market should not be your main concern– what about not falling behind?! No matter the business sector, conceptual and technical advancements abound in our modern world. And, it only takes a minute for something to come out of leftfield that turns the state of business as usual on its head.
Now more than ever, it is absolutely crucial that businesses and professionals alike ensure that their work reflects current best practices. Regular training ensures your teams are staying ahead of the competition. It keeps the business flexible to adapt quickly to changes in the market.
Any employee who receives training to better their knowledge and skills will undoubtedly be able to perform their job better and be poised to take on new roles. Upskilling employees allows them to get up to speed on the latest tools and best practices to perform their current jobs better, and thereby, be more competitive.
In fact, skills are in such demand now that companies are more focused on hiring people for their skills rather than their industry experience or formal education. Keeping your people happy to stay means keeping their skills up to date.
4. Training employees improves the entire business— performance, employer branding, and workplace experience.
Ok, we’ve covered that it’s cheaper to retain employees than to bring in new people. So when it comes to filling an open position, training a current employee in a new skill and moving that person between roles or departments is a potential cost saving.
Skills training also increases transparency between departments, can break down silos, and most importantly, ensures that various teams are working together towards core business objectives. Offering comprehensive training programs was found to increase revenue by 218% per employee.
More than that, though, equipping an employee with the skills to take on more or different responsibilities is a fantastic opportunity to enhance the employee experience at the company. Employees want to feel valued and appreciated. There’s no simpler way to recognize someone than to put resources and effort behind their development. It says, “we care about you and your career.”
Integral to an employer’s brand, the workplace experience informs potential new hires of the character and culture they can expect from your company. Training and development investment is crucial for attracting and retaining employees.
5. Professional development training is easier than ever before— thanks to e-learning, webinars, and virtual classrooms.
The hybrid workplace presents new challenges for learning and development. Companies need to be flexible and inclusive, therefore L&D teams need to think beyond traditional classroom training.
No longer a niche segment, and now expected to hit $200 billion by 2024, the e-learning industry is booming. It’s easier than ever before to train and develop people, no matter the budget, physical location, or time commitment.
Online training programs bring numerous advantages, many of which are highly applicable to any industry, business, and employee. Some of these include:
- Prompt feedback
- Cheaper than traditional training
- Provides a new learning multi-media modality
- Interactivity, including gamification
- Accessible and flexible
- Adaptable to different learning styles
- Can be self-driven and self-paced
- Can incorporate collaboration and community building
- Results are easy to measure and report
- Easily scalable to include more employees no matter their physical location
6. Training’s learning gap from the classroom to the office is shrinking.
Often referred to as “training transfer,” the road between knowledge gained in a training course and implementation of that knowledge into the workplace has, historically, been a bumpy one.
No longer is training simply a lecture. Providers are constantly innovating and mixing it up with real-world exercises, and physical and virtual experiences to link the theory back to the workplace. And even better, these innovations help to keep students interested and engaged.
Today, it is just as easy to learn online in some form as it is on-site: learn via a 2-day seminar with case studies or 10-minute micro-learning sessions at your desk; learn via gamification/VR or in a room practicing with others.
Training today emphasizes practical takeaways specific to particular responsibilities or certain roles.
7. Skills training increases employee well-being.
A lack of training and development can have a significant impact on a person’s engagement and ambition. When the average person spends 90,000 hours of their lifetime at work, it’s safe to assume that work can strongly impact a person’s mental state.
The findcourses 2022 L&D study confirms the strong and positive correlation that exists between learning and wellness… and between training spend and motivation.
When a company promotes a learning culture, employees feel valued and appreciated. They are more engaged and satisfied. In general, they are happier. And happiness breeds positivity, team spirit, collaboration— all the “good stuff” that’s key for any successful workplace.
Competition for talent is stiff. Promoting a workplace culture of learning as the foundation of a good employee development program is critical to enhancing the employee experience, as well as keeping the business nimble and competitive.