This post was originally published on lessonly.com.
Why is job training considered an investment? Because the importance of training cannot be understated. When companies invest in their people, not only do employees win because they’re better enabled with the tools and skills they need to succeed in their roles, but employers win, too, because training has a direct impact on KPIs.
In my former life, I was a math teacher at an amazing high school. Two weeks after I had my daughter in July 2015, I made up my mind to return to work in time to start the school year in August. Was I insane? Quite possibly—sleep deprivation does that to people.
But my desire to be back by August was a valid one. Ask any teacher and they’ll tell you that the first few weeks of school are critical for laying down the “law” of the classroom. I wanted to be in control of how my students would be trained in classroom procedures, routines, and expectations. Essentially, the first few weeks are an investment in the future of your classroom. Starting with high, well-defined guidelines for how your classroom should run empowers students to be more successful.
Now that I’m back in the corporate world, it’s remarkably easy to draw parallels from my experience in the classroom. The purpose of training is to set your employees up for success, whatever that looks like for your organization. Sure, you don’t have to train your employees on how to ask to use the restroom, but the benefits of training remain the same. As an employee, my professional and personal growth are the main reasons training needs to be a priority for me. But why should managers care? Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty—what are some benefits of training to employers?
1. Increased employee retention
Most of us can probably point to a previous job experience where we were given little to no training, whether it be subpar onboarding or a lack of continuous training. What kind of a message does this send? For me, it was clear that my employer didn’t truly value our team as individuals. I left that job soon after coming to that realization. On the other hand, if employees are armed with ongoing education and clear paths to advancement, they are more likely to stay. When employers invest in training and development programs, it demonstrates that they’re invested in their employees. Everyone appreciates an employer (and teacher) that cares about them.
2. Increased productivity
When training is robust and materials are easy to access, employees are empowered to do their best work in the most efficient way possible. A great onboarding program is full of examples of measurable learning objectives so new employees can hit the ground running with confidence, and are well-versed in procedures, expectations, technology, and policies. A well-enabled employee, even if they don’t know how to answer a question immediately, knows where to find that answer without needing to consult a peer. That’s why training is needed for employee performance. On the first day of school, my students were all over the place: not knowing where to find assignments, unsure of how to ask questions (yes, I trained them how to ask questions), and more. Six months later, the classroom operated like a well-oiled machine, and students were able to focus on their job: learning math. The importance of training cannot be understated.
3. Better quality product
Imagine a classroom where students don’t know where to sharpen their pencil or are afraid to raise their hand because they’re not sure if the teacher will scoff at their question. Do you think they’d perform well on a math test? (Sidenote: I shuddered at this thought.) Now consider an organization where employees don’t know where to find instructions on how to use their tech stack, or don’t know how to answer a difficult question from a customer. What do you think their work product would look like? Likely it wouldn’t look nearly as good as it could. Developing a list of training objectives and executing a great training program, though it may sound daunting, will result in better outcomes from employees.
In short? Invest in your people.
To make a long story short, the benefits of training and development in an organization are plentiful. Making the upfront investment in various types of training will pay major dividends down the road. Take a look at your organization’s current training regiment, and if it needs an overhaul, start now.
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