When most employers think of “training,” they equate it to the mass quantities of information transferred to employees so they can adequately execute their roles. However, this is only part of a complex and evolving topic. If this stereotype is challenged, employers can differentiate between information and instruction to provide themselves the opportunity to expand employees’ skillsets and place them in positions to excel. They can also capitalize on these expanded skillsets by deploying associates to fill in where they are needed, whether that is by task or across departments. In addition to increased productivity and flexibility, investing in a training culture also delivers benefits that ultimately help drive retention.
But, do employees really care about training?
Training is often considered to be a foundation from which employees begin their roles. However, studies have consistently shown that providing employees with ongoing training opportunities results in greater employee satisfaction with the company and their role.1 There are a few reasons why employees who receive training are much likelier to be happy.
Invest in me
An employee who receives training feels that the company is invested in their well-being. Therefore, an invested employee is more likely to be invested in the company as well. An invested employee shows organizational commitment to company goals and has a sense of responsibility to help the company achieve its initiatives. In addition, an employee who can receive training sees value in the company. After all, humans invest in what they believe will be a fruitful and integral part of their future.
Evening the playing field
Employees come from a variety of backgrounds, education levels and experiences. Even within the same department, the diversity of the workforce is likely to bring employees who come equipped with equally diverse skillsets. Training provides an avenue for employees to start on a similar level and contribute in areas they may have been weaker in. Furthermore, this may alleviate the workload on seasoned employees and allow these seasoned employees to expand their contribution to the organization in other ways.
ROI: Training leads to savings
When your roof has a leak, do you sell your house and buy a new one? Most likely, the answer is no. You fix it because you have invested in it. So, when an employee lags behind because he may need further training, why do we consider replacing him? We often first consider the cost of training rather than the overall savings benefits.
What is the true cost of hiring a new employee?
The new employee must still receive initial training and will require time before she is able to truly contribute to the company. Therefore, training current employees often costs less than onboarding a new hire. A study by the CAP found that turnover costs for midrange positions were approximately 20 percent of an annual salary, while the average cost to train an employee is only $1,296.2 In addition, you can train current employees to develop them into the worker you envision them to be while simultaneously increasing their job satisfaction.
Employee learning and development
It is important to highlight that not all training is created equal. In order to reap the benefits of providing employee training, content should be developed in an organized, meaningful manner utilizing best practices. Learners should know the expected training outcome and the actions they should be able to execute after the lesson. Lessons should be concise and delivered in segments to ensure the information is processed. Include exercises and assessments to engage the learners and gauge their retention along the learning process. Commonly used and highly effective training methods include eLearning, instructor-led training, blended-learning, and on-the-job training. Look for best-practice documentation to support and reinforce training long after the sessions conclude.
Conclusion and considerations
The most profound impact training has on an employee is a sense of value. Training provides employees with a feeling of empowerment. The confidence to not only do their job, but to excel at it and to be respected. By recognizing the importance of training and acknowledging the need for employee development, you are providing your workforce with the tools for success, increasing productivity and helping to boost retention in the process.