Employers want to keep their organizations running as leanly as possible. When times are tough, the extras have to be cut. In many cases, unfortunately, trimming – or gutting – the learning and development budget occurs.
The staffing firm Robert Half set out several reasons why professional development should be appreciated more as a way to attract and keep good employees in a 2017 blog post.
Before your organization makes any more cuts to the training budget, consider these reasons to keep investing in your employees’ education – and even to expand it.
1. Education for one means education for many
Promote the idea in your organization that learning should always take place, and encourage your employees to continue to train in areas relevant to their jobs. When you do, you’re spreading knowledge to other employees when the training is complete.
You can support the idea that employees should share what they know and learn with co-workers who have the same position and those in different areas of the company. That way, your training dollars are spread throughout the company, thus increasing productivity without having to spend more.
2. Employees are happier when they learn
Employees who are trained in their positions are usually happier because they know how to do their jobs better. They are more effective, and this leads to increased confidence. Greater confidence translates to more job satisfaction. Employees who are happy in their jobs stick around longer, decreasing the chance you will have to pay for hiring, onboarding, and training of employees any time soon.
Some ways you can train employees without having to spend a lot of money is to develop mentorship, coaching, job shadowing, and teaching them how to do jobs outside of their current roles. When you create a mentorship program, you’re making the most of the expertise that you already have on staff.
According to RobertHalf.com, “[g]aining practical knowledge, institutional insights and hands-on guidance is a highly effective way for mentees to become more valuable and versatile employees.”
3. Your company has a better reputation
A company that has good training and development programs is one that is building an even better reputation for themselves among job applicants. Job seekers will hear that you care about your employees when you develop a solid training program. They will see that you invest in your people and care about them as individuals.
Clients will like that you train your employees well, too, because they will receive personalized, high-quality customer care from staff members. RobertHalf.com points out that your employees are your brand ambassadors, and they represent your organization at every conference and seminar to which you send them.
4. You attract the right candidates with a good L&D program
Bright and ambitious job applicants do not only want to work for a company that offers them a high salary and generous vacation time. They are interested in continuing to develop their knowledge and skill bases. When an employer is invested in providing those learning opportunities that will help them advance their careers within the organization and outside it, they are more likely to want to remain loyal to the business.
If you want them to work for you, show them how working for you will give them more job options and how they can grow as professionals.
5. L&D programs can increase retention rates
Employees want to know you recognize their efforts and accomplishments, and they want to know they’re making a positive difference for their customers and the company. They have a desire to learn more about how to do their jobs well, and to become experts at what they do, become more well-rounded workers.
They want to be challenged so that day after day at work doesn’t feel so humdrum. They will start applying for jobs outside the organization if they get bored or feel like they aren’t able to advance. Professional development can increase workers’ enthusiasm, but it can also increase loyalty.
6. Professional development makes it easier to get future leaders ready
The employees who are on the path to management need to gain as much insight into the company’s operations as possible. When you encourage them to attend management training programs and have them work with experts in different departments for short stints, they gain a broader and deeper view of how the company works on a daily basis.
This will help them to better understand how to make good decisions when they become managers, which helps the company thrive in future, unpredictable circumstances.