Maximising Employee Return on Investment (ROI) Through Continuous Training and Development Programmes
Business sustainability largely depends on how we respond to changes that have a direct impact on bottom line performance as well as how we manage our resources through these changes.
Hence, to a large degree, where your business finds itself tomorrow will depend on how much you are prepared to invest today in staff training and development. Training and development include any learning opportunity that helps employees improve their skills and overall capacity to deliver quality service. It may or may not be related to their core area of work in the organization, but must improve their capacity to reason, relate, or lead as the case may be.
Your employees are the lifeblood of your business and sustaining their potential to perform means better bottom line results. 20th Century genius Albert Einstein offers some healthy advice in this regard that can be summed up as: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
Beyond the obvious reasons, what are the other implications for your business when you make a dedicated investment in maximising employee potentials through training and development? In this article we examine what we consider to be the reasons why it makes perfect sense to invest in employee training and development programmes.
- Training enhances staff performance levels
When your employees undergo training to improve their knowledge and enhance their skills it goes without saying that they will naturally be able to perform better. This applies to each and every department and covers employees at all levels within the business. Through training, your employees will automatically acquire a better understanding of your business, the industry at large as well as the function and purpose of the particular jobs that they do.
2. Cross-training opportunities mean a better understanding of the business
If your business is structured in such a way that you have different departments, creating an environment that embraces collaboration among employees inspires members from different teams to learn from each other. For instance, when one team is involved in a training session, even if it is a specific initiative, invite others from different teams or areas to also attend. This will give others the opportunity to learn more about aspects of the business that they previously knew nothing about.
- Training minimises staff turnover
While a certain degree of staff turnover is normal for any business and new people who join an organization bring along with them fresh ideas and different perspectives, a high staff turnover rate can be disruptive and costly. Spending the money on staff training and development as opposed to recruiting new staff is far more cost effective. Not to mention that when employees realise that you are prepared to invest in their training and development needs they are more likely to feel valued and this means that they are less likely to seek employment elsewhere.
- Employees who are trained feel more engaged with the business
Benjamin Franklin was quoted to have said: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” The same applies to actively engaging with your employees. It goes without saying that your employees will greatly appreciate any opportunity you give them to learn and grow. Continuous learning keeps things from becoming staid and boring by helping to stimulate a flow of fresh ideas which in turn ensures that staff are sufficiently motivated.
- Training helps employees stay abreast of new developments that invariably translate into business growth
Training ensures that employees stay abreast of any new developments within the industry, which, in turn translates into opportunities for business growth. Staff who are informed of new developments should inform others within the business and keep everyone on the same page. This will help to sustain a competitive advantage and ultimately improve customer service levels.
- Training improves your business bottom line
Engaging with employees through dedicated training programmes helps to improve your business bottom line in that by upskilling your employees, whether it is with a view to enhancing customer service levels or elevating technical knowledge, through training, your employees will naturally become better at their jobs which in turn translates into better bottom line performance.
- Training enhances the reputation of your business
The perception around a company who cares enough about their employees to invest in staff training and development enhances the reputation of the company. Staff and customers alike will see the company as one that is good to work for. This, in turn, not only positively affects the hiring process but also augments sales and boosts the bottom line.
Train Your Team
- Training upskills employees for promotion
Existing employees are familiar with the day to day running of the business and when it comes to considering promotions and placing individuals into key roles and positions of greater responsibility and influence it is natural to look within the company before hiring from the outside. Not only does training ensure that employees are more capable, but also helps to identify appropriate talent within the organization. Managers are then able to determine who should be considered for promotion and gain a better grasp of latent strengths and weaknesses.
- Training helps with succession planning
Dedicated staff training and development programmes should be a continuous process. In terms of succession planning it can help to enhance employee skill levels when considering what types of leaders a company may need in the future, what industry changes and developments are expected to take place that can impact the business or what customers may need in the future.
Helen Fenton, Senior Analyst: Business Optimization Training Institute (BOTi) www.boti.co.za