It’s hard to believe that the argument still exists today: Is the investment in our employees really worth the financial obligation to do so? The reality for small to medium size business owners is tied to a bottom line that often struggles with having the actual cash flow to support such “theories”, so the idea of further investment in an employee seems like an impossible task. And yet, how often do we hear that “our employees are our most valuable resource”?
Mantras can lose their meaning, and while well-intentioned business leaders like to talk about their most valuable resource, they often fall short in giving their employees the training and tools they need to truly be productive.
To maximize an employee’s production, businesses must not only understand how to leverage current knowledge and capabilities of its people, but they must also know how to develop and grow their skills to compete in an information rich, high-speed world.
While investing in your employee can be a measurable cost, too many business owners fail to see the potential return on their investment. No matter your business, you can benefit tremendously by investing in your employees.
Here are some of the ways your business can benefit from investing in your employees:
- Increase in production and profitability. It seems that we could stop right here with this reason alone. Susan J. Wells of HR Magazine states that companies in the top quarter of employee training expenditures ($1,500 or more per employee/per year) average 24 percent higher profit margins than companies that spend less per year.
- Increase in employee engagement, production, and ultimately, retention. Increasing employee engagement investments by 10 percent can increase profits by $2,400 per employee, per year, while highly engaged employees are 38 percent more likely to have above-average productivity. (Workplace Research Foundation). Additionally, Managers who receive training, and shift from being ineffective to effective, improve employee performance by 25 percent, employee engagement by 52 percent, and employee retention by 40 percent. (Corporate Leadership Council)
- Effective communication with your employees. In 2016, 68 percent of workers said that training and development is the most important workplace policy. And yet, Research tells us that over 70 percent of learning on the job occurs informally. It stands to reason that when the majority of your workforce is saying that training and development are the most important workplace policies, then they will excel when given the tools they need to fulfill their jobs. Quite simply, when you communicate with your employees, and give them what they need…incredible things can happen within your organization.
- Stronger Culture. Everything that can be said about culture can be summed up in one word: PEOPLE. With all the much-needed advances in technology to help grow and maintain a culture, everything hinges on a company’s ability to take care of and grow their people. Providing training to your employee says, “I care about you.” It speaks to your employees both personally and professionally. Training not only builds current value, but it speaks to the future. And what if that employee takes your training and moves on to another opportunity? Well, that’s just the way of the world. Great leaders take pride in contributing to the well-being of their employees, whether they remain with the company or not. And it is on this premise that the vibrancy of culture continues: “they” (management/leadership) actually care about me and my success.
Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your company policy or mindset regarding training investment in your staff. While it may seem like an expensive endeavor, the statistics show that it just makes cents…for the bottom line, and so much more.