"An investment in Knowledge Always Pays the Greatest Dividends."
When scanning your budget, it's tempting to reduce or eliminate money for personal and professional training for your staff. Does it seem like a high cost item that can be trimmed with little impact? Put training in its proper context.
Think of training as an investment, not a cost. An investment is money spent with the expectation that there will be a return greater than the expense. I would argue that this is the case with the dollars put into a training budget.
Training has a significant positive impact on your “bottom line.” The benefits are both tangible and intangible. The tangible benefits are financial (e.g., lower costs, higher productivity and fewer costly errors will result from a well trained work force). The intangible, while more difficult to measure, will have an enduring impact on the organizational culture. Your organization can become the employer of choice through your commitment to your people.
There is no doubt that education and training lead to a more competent work force. Employees who are better prepared for work will be more effective in performing their duties and responsibilities to support your business.
When employees know what they are doing and are good at it, there will be a surge of added confidence. This feels good to the individual and has a tremendous benefit to the business.
Enhanced morale and employee satisfaction:
Learning, growing and developing are a passion for people wanting to do well and succeed. Success leaves a positive mark on a person’s feeling of self worth. Training and continuous improvement contributes to an
individual’s success and an organization’s ability to grow.
Makes people better able to assimilate change:
One reason people resist change is that they are not prepared for it. Another is that they do not feel confident in unfamiliar territory. Accompanying change with education takes away some of the uncertainly and reduces the fear. Reluctance to change will then be lessened and friction can be avoided.
Reduced errors, mistakes and misunderstandings:
Consider education a type of preventative medicine. Time taken to train people will prevent the frustration, tension and anxiety a lack of competence and confidence brings. Well trained people make fewer errors and fewer errors increases productivity and also lower both the human and financial costs of mistakes.
Brings people together to hear a common message:
It can be very beneficial for groups of people within the organization to come together to share the same training experience. In additional to building relationships, it increases the "esprit de corps" and camaraderie that can carry over into the work place. People who learn, laugh and grow together share a powerful bond. I know this is true from my military career!
Gives participants the opportunity to share experience, ideas, thoughts, recommendations and solutions:
When people come together in a training session, they can discuss what is on their minds and put their collective experience to work to solve problems, and generally work on communication links. It is very empowering to express oneself and have other people listen. To come together and work toward
a solution bonds the individuals to the organization and to each other.
There is a dramatic and direct relationship between training and increased employee retention:
Turnover is an extremely costly problem. When employees are given training opportunities, there is more organizational loyally, personal satisfaction and a greater probability of long-term commitment. When a business makes an investment in its personnel, it shows a commitment to them. This will likely be reciprocated, resulting in reduced turnover.
All-in-all, professional education makes sense. It increases the skill level of the organization, raises the bar on the overall quality of employee effort, enhances employee loyalty, and generates an expectation of growth, change and development that will keep your business competitive. It is time, effort and money well spent.