How to elevate the importance of employee training Four tips to make training a priority in your organization

Recently, we highlighted five common workplace training and development challenges employers face in 2019. One of those challenges sounds the simplest but is one of the most difficult to address—making training and development (T&D) a priority. For both employers and employees, simply giving T&D the attention, time and budget share it deserves is a pervasive and ongoing challenge. Here we consider four ways to elevate the importance of employee T&D standing in your organization, and back them up with some facts about the value of the exercise.
Embrace the ROI
The most effective way to raise the awareness of the importance of employee T&D is to embrace its measurable return-on-investment. Studies have shown that: The ROI associated with employee development may be measured in direct monetary terms, too, seeing higher sales or better rates of customer retention as a result of improved service. Harder to measure is the X factor—new opportunities gained or lost because of having a flexible agile workforce in place. However, it is this X factor that drives growth and innovation, keeping your organization ahead of competitors.
Calendarize it
Employers can demonstrate the value they place in employee training prioritizing it and directing managers to schedule dedicated learning time into employees’ schedule
. Determine a sensible proportion of the work week that can be devoted to learning (one hour, for example) and calendarize it. Consider shortening the typical hour-long corporate meeting 10-15 minutes and encouraging employees to use the time for training and development instead. Most online courses can be consumed as bite-sized bits, able to be started and stopped as needed.
  • A 2018 LinkedIn report declared “getting employees to make time for learning” as the top challenge for staff training and development.
  • On average, employees receive 7 hours of training each year.
  • 66% of workers received training from employers in the past year.
Future proofing
As many as 375 million people around the world may need to change roles and update their skills 2030 in response to evolutions in technology and changes in business. Tomorrow’s workforce needs to be equipped to navigate technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain and the inevitable new innovations on the horizon. Companies that recognize this and make the investment in training will be better equipped to succeed in the future. Employees see the writing on the wall too and are asking for the skills they need to meet tomorrow’s challenges.
  • About 40% of workers said they left a company because they lacked access to state-of the-art digital tools and 58% said they need to work elsewhere to gain digital skills.
  • Workers at technology laggards were 450% more likely to want to leave to go work elsewhere.
  • 33% of professionals selected “I’m bored, need new challenge” as their motivation for moving on to another job.
Use it as a recruiting and retention tool
You don’t need us to remind you that we’re in the midst of a talent shortage. To attract and retain the best and the brightest, companies must demonstrate a commitment to employee training and development. Employees want to see a clear career path and expect employers to help them advance providing the skills and training they need to succeed. In addition to attracting new talent and increasing employee engagement, training and development programs help employers “grow their own” talent in a lean market creating an internal bench of qualified and upwardly-mobile employees.
  • 51% of employees would quit their job if training was not offered.
  • If a job lacks growth opportunities and avenues for leadership development, 67% of millennials would leave that position.
  • More than 70% of HR professionals believe outmoded work practices, sketchy career paths and limits on advancement, development and mentoring are impacting attrition.
And it’s not just employees looking for training for themselves—many think their managers could use some training and development too:
  • Nearly half of employees said they’ve quit a job because of a bad manager, 56% think managers are promoted prematurely, and 60% think managers need managerial training.
  • Managers who have limited knowledge (30%), offer inadequate performance feedback (24%), can’t effectively help workers develop their skills (23%) and are uninvolved in daily interactions (18%) can cause workers to consider leaving.
Employee training and development is not simply a good idea, it’s a necessary business strategy—vital to keeping an organization well-staffed with engaged, capable personnel who contribute directly to the bottom line. Launching an effective training and development program doesn’t have to be difficult—we share some ideas to get you started here, or review our best practices guide here.