So why is training so important for a company’s success and why is it worth the investment? Here are ten reasons why spending money on training is money well spent.
1. Change is constantModern day business is in continuous flux. With the current pace of change, adaptability is the key quality that will keep your head above water and your company profitable.
Adaptability means being able to recognise changes and new trends as they happen – and then internalising the new knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to cope with the demands of the new landscape. And that means training your employees well.
2. Your competitors are doing itIt's highly likely that the most successful organisations in your sector are training their staff and investing in their future.
If you're tight with your training budget or slow to get your employees up to speed, you'll lose ground to your competitors – they'll simply be selling, delivering and serving better.
3. Increased staff motivationStudy after study has shown that people only partly motivated by monetary rewards. Self-development and self-actualization factors are two other powerful forces that energise staff and inspire them to work.
When you don't give people an avenue to grow personally, you're missing opportunities to drive staff motivation and productivity.
4. Increased staff retentionWhen an individual joins in organisation, they expect to gain knowledge and skills in their new role. Research has shown that two of the most common reasons why people leave a company are that they either don’t feel supported, or feel like they are going nowhere. Companies that don't offer opportunities for learning and skill development tend to have a higher employee turnover rate.
5. Psychological contractAs well as a written contract, there’s also a physical contact between a company and its employees. In essence, this refers to the unwritten expectations that both the company and the employee hold. It includes things like your expectation that an employee will stay late if there’s important work to finish.
Similarly, employees generally expect to be provided with opportunities to grow and develop their skills. If you fail to provide this, then you may find they resist your unwritten expectations as well, such as staying late, or going that extra mile on key projects.
6. Easier talent acquisitionUnless you're lucky enough to operate in a blue ocean market, you'll need to attract top talent in order to thrive in your industry.
Compensation and benefits certainly matter, but the best employees are often highly growth-minded – they value the chance to gain key experience and develop their skillsets. If you provide regular training, learning resources and opportunities for staff to take external courses, you’re far more likely to attract high achievers.
7. Progressive workforceBy providing effective training, you empower your staff to move up through the ranks, producing a progressive workforce who are motivated and loyal.
In most cases, this also means that you won't need to recruit from outside as much, so the time and money spent on training is offset by savings of thousands of pounds and many hours that would otherwise be sunk into recruitment.
8. More effective launchesWhen you train your people frequently, they become better learners. With an agile, fast-learning team, you're able to release new products and offers faster and more effectively than your competition.
Gearing an organisation towards new product or service launches is a vital step in today's fast paced markets. Fail to train, and you may find your teams are more sluggish when it matters the most.
9. Better industry imageWhen you train your employees effectively, the industry will know about it. You are much more likely to become an authority in your arena, and there are many benefits to being seen as the top dogs in your field.
Your leaders may be asked to give their thoughts in newspapers and on high quality websites. They’ll be courted for their opinion at conferences, and asked to speaking engagements. You will be getting lots of free PR, which contributes to the growth of your business.
10. Exchange opportunityTraining events are a great place to foster a “stakeholder” mentality in your employees, and to extract valuable ideas.
If you are training people to use a new system, they can often feed valuable information back into the development cycle. The staff are, after all, the users that know their roles most intimately, and are therefore well positioned to make feature suggestions.
Training environments can be incredibly stimulating. Don't be surprised if your employees end up generating key insights or creative solutions to long-standing problems during their learning.
ConclusionSpending money on training is an investment, not a cost. To get the most out of it, though, you have to understand your company's requirements in terms of people, tasks, culture, structures and processes.
Effective training helps an organisation build and sustain a long-term edge in a market. Companies that fail to train their staff properly are more likely to be a flash in the pan, and disappear when the next disruptive technology or economic shock hits their industry.