Training programs are about more than just bringing employees up-to-date on the latest procedures and technology…they are a prime way to promote employee engagement.
Late last month, I posted an IdeaXchange blog about implementing a training program and the steps a company needs to take in order to make the training achieve the desired goals. Certainly those goals need to be clearly defined before you begin structuring the program. This is true whether you are training diesel technicians, salespeople, customer service staff, or almost any job category you can think of.
Don’t look outside for the right employee…look inside
If you are unsure of the value of training programs or are concerned regarding the investment to develop one, consider this. If there are new procedures, processes, or technology that needs to be learned, you shouldn’t have to go outside your most valuable resource…your current employee workforce. I’ve spoken often about the value of retention: of how replacing a good employee can be very costly. Imagine how much more costly it is when you are simply adding new employees to deal with new technology or procedures: things that can be learned by existing employees through a training program
So what are those costs? First, there is the cost of recruiting: that includes both advertising and the time HR spends finding, interviewing, and finally recruiting qualified candidates. Second, there is the lost productivity when bringing a new employee on board; there is always a learning curve and a lot of paperwork. Third, there is the issue of workplace integration. If you have a good team, bringing someone new into the mix can sometimes create new issues. The actual dollars vary according to the position you are looking to fill; but those costs disappear when you decide to provide the necessary training to existing employees.
Don’t think training, think employee development
A training program usually involves improving and strengthening existing skills. These are very important to keep your employees up-to-date on all changes and advances. An employee development program usually involves a number of training programs covering a wider array of issues in order to enhance a worker’s skills as well as acquire new knowledge. In a work environment that relies more and more on millennials, it is vital that companies have a focus on employee engagement. This generation, according to a Harvard Business Review article, companies that invest in “training and providing the resources for personal development go a long way in terms of employee engagement.”
Cornerstone, a leading talent management organization, found that “66% of employees will seek internal opportunities before looking for a position somewhere else. Supporting professional development is one way companies can attract and [more important] retain valued employees.”
A chance to advance and an opportunity to gain new knowledge through training and development says to your employees, “You are valued, your service is appreciated, and we are investing in you and your future as well as the company’s.
Read Jane’s full IdeaXchange blog to see what steps you need to take to implement a successful training program.