When starting a business, one of the most important resources that you need is human capital. Unless you have robots that are going to run your entire business for you, there will be a need for highly skilled employees to bring your vision to life. However, employers often make the common mistake of investing more in finding the right employees than they do in keeping them.
A Harvard Business Review study, based on the analysis of international databases of more than 1,200 employees, found that young high achievers specifically aren’t receiving the career development support they want. This results in them continuously changing jobs and, consequently, affecting the turnover rates of businesses, too.
If you don’t want this to be the case for your business, it’s imperative that you invest in growth development and training for your staff. Employee development specifically consists of an employee growth plan which could consist of them developing new skills and knowledge in both soft skills and hard skills, within the industry where they work or outside of it, and so on.
For Better Productivity and Engagement
When you hire an employee, one of your hopes is likely that they’ll have high levels of productivity right off the bat, which will naturally help you meet your business objectives. Oftentimes, however, while top talent employees tend to be ambitious and self-motivated, they still need help cultivating their skills. When you offer training and development in the early stages of their tenure, you’re developing their skills which, in turn, allows them more confidence and creativity to pour into their job role. It also shows that you care about who they are and their personal aspirations, which can help build loyalty — and it’s a given that employees who are loyal to the company they work for may naturally become more engaged.
Increased interest and engagement could mean fewer people calling in sick, on top of better overall productivity across the team. Specifically, GetSmarter states that companies with actively interested and dedicated employees have a 41% lower absenteeism rate. Meanwhile, when employees aren’t engaged, they can pick up negative work habits or become idle, which affects productivity.
To Improve Your Bottom Line
Instead of investing more in training, some organizations look for ways to cut training costs thinking it will save them money in the long run. While this may look appealing on paper, and although it may seem as though you’re cutting costs, this could be counterproductive as you could end up negatively affecting training outcomes and increasing overall organization costs due to low efficiency and high turnover rates. Because of this, it’s important to know that you can keep training costs low by implementing “microlearning,” or short-term learning activities that could work out more cost-effective.
According to Entrepreneur, quality training will have a direct impact on your bottom line. This improved bottom line reflects in things like fewer errors in daily tasks as well as improved customer service. Not investing in training could mean your star employees leave and find a company that is more invested in their future — and when employees leave, your company could end up paying far more as replacing talent can cost more than retaining the talent you already have. In fact, Gallup estimates that employee replacement costs could be more than 150% of the worker’s annual salary.
Having said that, find out what your employee’s long-term career goals are and what types of support they expect, and then use that information to devise an employee training plan that personalizes their development. It’s also critical that you have a vision for employee education on a broader view, which is where CLOs can be useful. CLOs, or Chief Learning Officers, help put together up-to-date practices, implement new technologies, and update out of date training regimens needed to set the tone for the personal development that takes place in your business, no matter the individual, the job, or the department.
For Better Team Performance
Most employees will have to work within a team at some point, but not all of them have the skills they need to do so effectively. For this reason, training should be compulsory, especially if you want high levels of team performance. Training helps employees better mix with each other across the board, no matter their skill level, tenure, previous education, and so on.
When employees feel like they fit in and can bond with other colleagues within a team, it boosts their morale. Beyond training, try encouraging activities outside of work, like organizing a bike ride to raise money for charity or incorporating a gym in the workplace to encourage group health/fitness goals. This is a way of creating a positive company culture and making employees feel as though they’re part of a work family. Such events and fitness initiatives could also be classified as workplace benefits that help enrich your employees’ lives and make them feel more valued.
Providing increased lifetime training and development shows that you see your employees as more than commodities and acknowledge that they’re people with aspirations and dreams of their own. For this reason, it should be something that made mandatory in every business.