Everybody’s talking about the importance of training and development for your employees, and you’re beginning to wonder whether or not this is just another passing fad in the employment space (like showcasing your ping-pong tables and referring to your company as “disruptive”).
But here’s the thing: all of that chatter is for good reason. Employee development is so much more than a buzzword or some sort of catchy marketing ploy.
In fact, true workplace training offers some major perks—not only for your employees but also for your entire organization.
Like what? Well, we’re so glad you asked. Below, we’re breaking down several of the most notable benefits of training and development in the workplace.
Why does it matter? 5 Benefits of training and development in the workplace
Perhaps you’re set on prioritizing employee training, but you’re still working on getting buy-in from upper management. Or, maybe you aren’t quite convinced that it’s worth the investment yourself.
Either way, there’s no shortage of compelling reasons to make learning and development a cornerstone of your company culture.
1. You’ll build a more skilled workforce
This first benefit seems obvious, but believe it or not, it’s one that’s often overlooked.
There’s so much focus placed on things like engagement and retention (which we’ll get to a little later), that people forget about the most basic benefit: you’re boosting the skills and knowledge of your workers.
By equipping them with the information and training they need to do their jobs (and do them well!), you not only ensure you have a capable staff, but you also give their productivity levels a major boost.
In a study of more than 3,100 U.S workplaces conducted by the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce, it was discovered that an increase of 10% in workforce education leads to an increase of 8.6% in employee productivity—which is almost a total return on investment (without even considering other factors like engagement, morale, and retention).
Additionally, a focus on learning and development also enables organizations to more efficiently get new employees up to speed about what their new role entails so that they can hit the ground running and start contributing. That’s important, especially when you consider that one study of employees in the U.S. and the U.K. discovered that businesses lose an estimated $37 billion each year—just because employees don’t understand their jobs.
As you might guess, a speedier onboarding process and a more skilled and confident staff can do some big things for a business’ bottom line.
A 1998 study conducted by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) looked at 540 different U.S. companies and split them into two samples: one that invested $900 in training per employee per year and one that invested $275 per employee per year. The top group experienced 57% higher sales per employee and 37% higher gross profit per employee.
2. You’ll increase employee engagement
Engagement is the name of the game in the industry. The good news is that engagement has been on the rise (at least slightly!) since the initial release of those dismal statistics. You know, the ones that were oft-repeated by companies who were worried their best employees were bound to hit the road.
However, recent data from Gallup still shows that only 34% of employees are engaged in their work. That means companies are constantly on the lookout for ways to hold the attention and appreciation of their employees.
Well, a focus on learning and development can help. Quantified studies are tough to find, but one that was conducted with U.K. employees found that those who had formal personal development plans and actually received regular performance reviews in the past year had engagement levels that were significantly higher than employees who didn’t.
3. You’ll improve employee retention
You’d guess that higher engagement leads to higher retention—and you’d be right. But as it turns out, emphasizing employee training itself also gives your retention rates a healthy boost.
It’s no secret that your employees want opportunities to learn and develop at work. They’re eager to grow and advance, and you don’t want them to feel like the only way up is out (especially when a reported 70% of employees have left jobs because they saw no opportunities for future advancement).
A separate study by Culture Amp found that people who stay with an organization are up to 24% more likely to say they had access to the learning and development resources that they require.
4. You’ll boost your employer brand
Employee training and development can mean big things for your existing team members—but it’s helpful for recruitment as well. Showcasing the various learning opportunities you offer bolsters your employer brand and attracts top talent.
But, do candidates actually care about your development offerings? You bet they do—especially among the younger generations (who now make up the largest portion of the workforce).
One report from Gallup indicates that 59% of millennials say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a job.
5. You’ll foster a sense of camaraderie
Finally, chances to explore new topics, refine new skills, and expand their knowledge presents an opportunity for your team members to actually bond with each other.
Not only do they get to tackle new challenges together, but they can also lean on one another for various learning opportunities by collaborating with colleagues who have specific areas of expertise. Recent research found that 48% of survey respondents said that peer collaboration is actually their preferred method of learning.
Learning from each other’s strengths not only leads to a more well-rounded workforce, but those bonds can also improve retention and engagement. In one U.S.-based survey, 79% of respondents said that their relationships with their co-workers were their top engagement condition.
Training and development is well worth the investment
You’ve heard all of the hype about employee training and development. But rest assured, it’s way more than just a passing fad.
As plenty of research proves, prioritizing learning within your own company can lead to numerous benefits, including:
- A more knowledgeable workforce
- Improved employee engagement
- Increased employee retention
- A more positive employer brand
- A more bonded team
Without a doubt, an emphasis on learning and advancement is more than worth it for the success of your employees—and your organization as a whole.
Want an easy way to implement a training program in your workplace? Then use the GoSkills learning management system (LMS), which will make learning far more manageable, accessible, and even fun for your employees. You can easily assign GoSkills courses to teach your team essential business skills like Excel, project management, business writing and leadership. It's easy to create and upload your own courses, quickly customize learning for every employee, and monitor progress with reporting and analytics.
Check out the GoSkills training platform and prepare to level-up your employee training and development program.
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