In today’s competitive labor market, employee training has never been more important. By continually upskilling your workforce you can build a robust talent pool, increase productivity and performance, and improve employee retention.
In this blog, we explore why training is important for employees, offer tips for aligning your training program with business goals, and share how you can overcome challenges in employee training.
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Both training and development play a key role in ensuring employees are equipped with the skills they need to succeed today and in the future.
Employee training is the process of equipping workers with the day-to-day skills and knowledge they need to perform their current jobs.
Through training, employees become familiar with industry trends, technologies, a company’s products, and services, and can provide the best service to customers. Training also helps them to stay motivated and productive, as they have access to new information and tools that can help them do their jobs better.
Continual development ensures employees can take their careers to the next level. By providing employees with the opportunities to gain new skills, take on new responsibilities, and do more challenging projects, employers can help their employees grow their knowledge and experience, which can help them reach their potential.
Providing employee training can enhance job satisfaction, boost productivity, and improve employee retention.
Let’s look at five benefits of employee training:
Employee training enhances both productivity and performance. According to a survey conducted by TalentLMS and SHRM Research, 80% of employees find training beneficial for their productivity.
Furthermore, 51% of workers believe training increases their confidence and 41% say it improves their time management skills – both of which translate to improved efficiency and output. This increased productivity contributes to overall business performance. Companies are 17% more productive and 21% more profitable when they offer employee training.
Rapid advancements in technology, changing market dynamics, and increased demand for specialized skill sets have made employee training programs more critical than ever.
LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report suggests that skill sets for jobs have changed by around 25% since 2015. By 2027, this number is expected to double. Moreover, 89% of learning and development professionals agree that proactively building skills for today and tomorrow will help companies navigate the future of work.
But what are those skills?
Key growth skills as determined by the World Economic Forum (WEF) include analytical and creative thinking, resilience, flexibility and agility, motivation and self-awareness, curiosity, and lifelong learning. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data rank seventh for skills growing in importance, with a 60% growth in demand predicted by 2027.
Employee training is closely linked to satisfaction and workplace morale. Investing in the growth of employees makes them feel valued and appreciated, which leads to greater engagement, performance, and commitment. Indeed, 68% of employees say training is essential to job satisfaction. Happy employees are also more likely to recommend your company to others.
Training can help improve employee knowledge and skills, which can increase your company’s efficiency and identify and eliminate wasteful processes. Trained employees are also more likely to make economical use of company resources, thereby minimizing waste.
Many companies are grappling with turnover and retention of critical talent. LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report found that 93% of organizations are worried about keeping their employees.
Digging deeper into the survey, three of the top five reasons that drive people to pursue new jobs are a desire to stretch, grow, and develop new skills. Indeed, learning helps individuals grow and advance into new internal roles and has a significant correlation to retention. Employees who have built their skills and made an internal move are 75% more likely to stay with a company.
It’s no surprise that employers view providing learning opportunities as the number one way they can strengthen employee retention.
Training is only effective when it aligns with and supports overarching business objectives.
Learning professionals are collaborating more closely than ever with HR executives and the C-suite to comprehend the company’s objectives and determine the essential skills for employees. According to LinkedIn’s findings, in 2023, 50% of learning professionals were actively engaged with the C-suite, marking an increase from 43% in 2022.
As your organization engages in these discussions, leverage them as an opportunity to pinpoint critical areas of business risk. For instance, various sectors face heightened regulatory scrutiny, necessitating the development of employee skills to mitigate these risks.
Additionally, these discussions should prioritize methods for upskilling your workforce, aiming to elevate the quality of work, minimize risks, and enhance the overall customer experience.
Effective training programs can have both direct and indirect financial implications.
Consider the financial burden of replacing staff. The cost of replacing an employee can range from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary. Moreover, it’s estimated that the United States loses a trillion dollars a year to employee turnover. An employee’s departure also leads to knowledge loss and employee apathy.
Investing in training will make people less likely to quit. Well-executed training programs enhance employee knowledge and proficiency in their roles, making them more valuable to the business and increasing their chances of promotion. This, in turn, contributes to a reduction in overall turnover. Additionally, training can lead to increased productivity, resulting in cost savings for your organization.
Training also gives your company a competitive advantage, helps you reach new customers, and boosts sales. Consider the statistics:
Employees face many challenges when training employees, including lack of time and budget, resistance to change, alignment with business goals, adapting to remote learning, measuring the return on investment for learning programs, and more.
There are also numerous training options to choose from – in-person, video conferencing, courses, certifications, executive coaching, hands-on projects, to name but a few – and deciding which is best can be difficult.
Below are common learning and development challenges and effective strategies to overcome them:
To optimize the benefits of your learning program, make a habit of exploring innovative and modern training approaches, such as applications and online courses. Remember, valuable training content doesn’t always require a substantial budget. Platforms like YouTube and TED Talks offer convenient and cost-effective access to a diverse range of expertise.
Look inside your organization to ensure your program is dynamic and engaging. For example, encourage employee participation by organizing weekly lunch and learns. During these sessions, different team members can share valuable insights, tips, tricks, case studies, and success stories, fostering a more interactive and participatory learning environment.
Other strategies include bringing in guest speakers from local business organizations, colleges, or partner companies.
Businesses around the world increasingly recognize why training is important for employees. They are actively fostering learning cultures that empower employees to gain new skills, feel valued, and unlock growth and potential.
Employers also benefit. As you seek to build a more resilient, successful future, training programs can help your company nurture more engaged employees, boost retention, attract top talent, and drive business results.
Acuity offers educational and tuition assistance for employees who sign up for training courses. Requests for assistance are pre-approved by applying for a course and paying for it upfront. Once a course is completed with a C grade or better, the employee can then be reimbursed for the cost of the training up to a certain amount—resulting in a win-win for all. Contact Acuity to learn more.
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