Henry Ford allegedly once said, "The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay." This statement, regardless of who its true author may be, will never lose its relevance. There is no manager who doesn't want highly skilled specialists on their team.
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Unfortunately, a lot of these very same managers consider professional development to be the employee's concern, not the company's.
If you believe that hiring an experienced employee trained by someone else is less expensive than training employees yourself, you are mistaken. Such an employee will never feel loyal and devoted to your company. They will be much more likely to leave than employees in whom you've invested time and money. When they leave, you'll have to go looking for a replacement – hoping the next one doesn't leave as well.
Employees are your company's most important assets. Their training and professional development is something you should invest heavily in.
The Benefits of Investing in Employee Training and Development
1. A Competitive Advantage Over Other Companies
Competition for talent is growing. Offering an employee development program as part of your perks and benefits is a good way to attract candidates to your organization rather than your competitors.
2. Increased Employee Loyalty
When a company invests in employee training and development, employees feel valued and appreciated. This makes them more loyal, and the more loyal your employees are, the more likely they are to both stay and to refer skilled friends and colleagues to work at the company. Plus, loyal employees are more engaged and motivated and require less supervision.
3. Decreased Turnover
According to research from SHRM, employee replacement can cost a company between six and nine months of the departed employee's salary. Aside from the direct financial losses, a high turnover rate also affects the company's market position, profitability, and revenue. By training employees and investing in their career development, you can make them feel valued by your organization. This will lead to longer employee tenures and less turnover.
4. Flexibility in the Market
Training and development programs can make a company more flexible in the market. When your employees are well trained, they are better able to respond to changes in the market, which ensures company success in the long term.
Invest in a Learning Management System
Now that you know why training is worth the investment, it's important to note that having an employee-training program for the sake of just checking the box is a waste of time and money. Training and development are only good investments if they are effective and engaging.
Think twice before asking a senior employee to train new hires or hiring a third-party to conduct sessions for you. Senior employees can better spend their time on their core job duties, while third-party training companies have zero understanding of your company's specific products, services, and processes.
A better approach to training and development would be an in-house program delivered with the help of a learning management system (LMS). An LMS is software used for creating, managing, and delivering training content. LMSs can also be used for communication between employees and trainers and to monitor employees' performance in training programs.
Here are a few reasons why many employers are turning to LMSs to help with their training and development programs:
Training happens within the company, and employees are not pulled off their main job duties to provide training for others.
No money spent on paying for a trainer, renting spaces, attending conferences/sessions, airfare, food, or lodging.
Training can be conducted according to the individual employee's schedule.
LMS reporting capacities can provide valuable decision-making information, allowing leaders and managers to track employee progress and prevent them from falling behind.
LMS software allows employees to leverage various training methods, such as case-based, problem-based, scenario-based, and narrative-based.
Multinational corporations use LMSs to deliver training regardless of an employee's location and language.
Many LMSs are equipped with tools to increase employee engagement and motivation, e.g., gamification, badges, chatrooms, forums, and integration with social media to share progress and evoke friendly competition.
When selecting an LMS for your organization, remember the following:
An LMS needs to be customizable to suit your company's and employees' unique needs. Make sure the LMS can be integrated with other platforms the company uses, such as HR modules and CRM systems.
If your organization lacks the resources to deal with LMS installation and management, you may want to decide on a cloud-based LMS. Such platforms are hosted in the cloud and don't require much technical knowledge to run or maintain.
Finally, it is important to say that while an employee training program will surely bring you a great return on investment, it alone is not enough for the company's success in the long run. To drive company success and conquer new markets, make sure your employees receive not only training, but also plenty of appreciation.