Smart employers understand all too well the benefits associated with the training and development of company employees. In a nutshell, strengthening employee skills reduces weak links, improves productivity, has a positive impact on innovation and is extremely influential in improving staff morale.
Not-so-smart employers focus on the cost associated with training and developing employees and can’t see beyond that, perceiving it as a drain to the business, not a wise investment.
All too often, businesses don’t make training and development a priority. But when it comes to the bottom line, the ROI of a robust training program beats the cost savings of training cut-backs hands down.
Let’s take a look at how well-trained employees add value to your business.
The Customer Experience – These Guys Are Great, I’ll Buy From Them Again
Poorly trained staff don’t make a good impression on your customers. They can’t answer queries, they aren’t selling your brand and they don’t understand the company’s mission or vision. Essentially, staff who aren’t given adequate training can’t make a stellar impression on your customers.
On the other hand, employees who are well-trained understand everything about your business. They can speak knowledgeably about you and your products or services and represent your brand inside and outside of the workplace. They’ll say great things about you to existing and potential customers, and to friends and family.
Remarkable customer service is an essential component of business success. You need trained employees to deliver this. Training also helps to align everyone working in your business, so that the message you are sending to each and every customer is the same. Consumers want a good experience and they value consistency.
Staff Retention – Hey This Company Is Pretty Good, Think I’ll Stick Around
When staff feel valued and invested in, they are less likely to jump ship and seek employment elsewhere. Training and development are top perks new recruits look for in an employer.
Mike Knivett, MD at Artemis Marketing, says, “Not investing in employee training and development is like shooting yourself in the foot. If you support your employees to grow and show you care about their development, they in turn work smarter and harder for you.
“Staff who are excited about their future in our business are highly engaged and that helps enormously in the retention of talent. We’ve set up personal development plans for all staff, we run lunchtime learning sessions and regular Learning at Work programs, and we have a robust mentoring scheme. Needless to say, our staff retention rates are great.”
Innovation and Process Improvement – I Didn’t Realize My Team Had So Many Great Ideas
Any business looking to gain competitive advantage, flourish and grow, needs to innovate. But, innovation in business doesn’t just happen. It requires a learning culture. To keep your company ahead of the game, you need to embrace change at lightening speed, learn new skills, sharpen old skills, keep up with trends and assimilate new knowledge.
Learning isn’t just about job training. It’s about mindset. For learning and development to be highly effective there needs to be a shift in an organisation’s culture to a growth mindset.
A learning culture empowers employees to contribute ideas and refine processes. Deloitte reports that high-performing learning organizations are 92% more likely to innovate and 46% more likely to be first to market.
Learning cultures are only successful when there is transparency, openness and trust. Employees need to feel that it’s OK to make mistakes and learn from them and feel psychologically safe to speak up with ideas.
Employee Engagement and Productivity – I’m Fired Up and Want to Do My Best Every Day
In the previously mentioned report, Deloitte found that companies who prioritize learning experience 37 percent higher productivity. In an article on Human Capital Trends, Deloitte highlight, “Learning opportunities are among the largest drivers of employee engagement and strong workplace culture—they are part of the entire employee value proposition, not merely a way to build skills.”
On the whole, employees value collaboration and want to do meaningful work. They value learning above material rewards. Learning enhances performance and inspires people.
Analysis of three million employee surveys found career development to be the second biggest driver of employee engagement, not through occasional training and promotions, but through daily learning and networking. There is little doubt that learning and development impacts employee engagement.
Reputation – Our Staff and Customers Love Us
A strong and successful training and development strategy contributes hugely to your brand as a business and as an employer. Your reputation is important for attracting new talent and customers. A forward-thinking training and development program is a major draw for ambitious people.
How you treat and invest in your staff also impresses customers. Consumers are getting much more savvy about corporate behavior. There’s a growing trend for consumers to make ethical buying decisions, including how companies treat their staff.
Training and development for employees isn’t just important, it is a critical lever for improving the bottom line.
The views of the author of this article do not necessarily represent the views of Gradifi. We make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained here. Readers should consult their own attorneys or other tax or financial advisors to understand the tax, financial and legal consequences of any strategies mentioned in this article.