Hiring a competent, experienced and outside-the-box thinker will reflect well on your company’s spirit and corporate culture. However, over time, employers can forget that keeping a skilled worker relies on continued growth, education and learning. As industries change and companies grow, certain technology and abilities will need to evolve.
Of course, a revolving door of employees to keep up with change doesn’t make much sense, so many companies are understanding that training-up the staff they already rely on daily is much more productive. But beyond just the rational reasoning of keeping up with competitors, knowing the full impact of employee investment is important in order to start investing in it. Some reasons to invest in training your employees include:
1. Increased Productivity
This would make sense for the basic principle that if you’re sending an employee to a course, for certification or for classes that they are going to learn something they didn’t already know, and therefore speed up their process or workflow. Or, even just get a better understanding of their job; especially if it’s a technical one.
As well, a change of scenery can provide clarity. Sometimes the networking, critical thinking and excitement of a course outside of the office for a day invigorates the mind alone.
2. It Gets Paid Forward
Sometimes a certain employee doesn’t have to leave the office to gain insight. Inspiration can trickle down through various departments, leading to clarity to more than those who went to the workshop or seminar. For example, when management goes for certification or productivity training, it’s very likely that the knowledge can then be repeated in a smaller, casual training session the manager holds themselves. A ‘lunch and learn’ imparting the training to the team means the information ripples through the organization, and everyone benefits; even if all couldn’t attend the initial session.
3. Reinforced Importance
Additional training may also foster a culture of listening, respect and admiration. By sending an employee to a training seminar, the practical knowledge will benefit the corporation and company, but the recognition the employee will feel from upper management is also critical to growth. Sometimes it’s the action of being invested in that makes the employee feel like a better worker, rather than the technical training (although that helps). We spend a lot of our waking life in our job and careers, so it shouldn’t be surprising we get joy when we feel management is signalling that they value development and progress; and it certainly implies that they feel you are indispensible. Which leads to…
4. Fostering the Right Culture
Corporate culture may feel like a figment, but if you’re great management, you should be thinking about what your office and work culture is like, and what your employees think it is like; hopefully your employees also think the same positive traits you do about your company.
Many types of management believe in the core value of “life learning”, which is easy to say, but not easy to always practice. The best way to bring it to life is to highly encourage your employees to go to training. Better yet, if you’re able to organize training sessions that allow several team members to go or sign-up, it says a lot about keeping education inclusive and available for anybody who wants it.
5. Provides Perspective
Many workers get caught up working independently or in their own department all the time. In fact, when team members do get together, groupthink can be a common symptom. We forget that there are other companies, industries and people who work differently than we do.
Many professional training seminars encourage group activity, participation and collaboration with people who are also coming from a different office or workplace than you are. These conversations can ignite new ideas and empathy for other ways of thinking. This means when employees return, their time outside of their own box can sprout new ideas — perhaps even that winning pitch or client solution they been stuck on for weeks!
6. Fostering Value and Loyalty
With a career spanning several decades, positions will change and employees will advance; and if they’re good at what they do, you hope it will be with your company! While it can’t be guaranteed, training and education — powered with the right advancement — can help an employee avoid feeling stagnant or disenfranchised.
When managers fail to develop people’s skills, it definitely leads to employees wanting to exit to greener pastures. When you invest in your worker’s passions, they remember who gave them a new skill set, or who enabled and encouraged them to grow, which makes it much harder for them to leave. If an employee is talented and wants to grow, why wouldn’t you help? It’s definitely an asset for you too.
While not every company can afford business trips to expensive conferences or even weekly training outings, an employer shouldn’t shut out all options for further learning, either. It’s all about finding a balance between what is possible, and what will benefit the employee, management, and of course, the organization.
Finding the ROI isn’t always an easy metric, either.
While measuring this type of investment is important, a happier worker, improved mood and clearer mind can all be unmeasurable side effects. Whether it’s training for your company’s tax software, better office suite productivity, or soft skills like public speaking and chairing meetings, there’s no wrong way to support your staff on their way to a better version of themselves.