Training is Not Just for New Hires Anymore

Training is not just for new hires anymore.

Training is Not Just for New Hires Anymore

Employee retention and engagement weigh heavily on the minds of employers and HR professionals, in our local market and across the country. Having open positions in your organization can have an adverse effect on customer service, morale, turnover rate and revenue. Keeping your best performing employees is critical to the success and growth of your business. One emerging retention strategy among employers is to implement a Training and Development Program. If you’re skeptical about this strategy, you should know that there are multi-level benefits for the company as well. Keep reading to see why you may want to consider adding an effective employee training and development program in your organization to attract and keep top talent.

Increased Productivity
In a study of more than 3,100 U.S. workplaces, the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce (EQW) found that on average, a 10% increase in workforce education level led to an 8.6 % increase in total productivity.  Studies also show that organizations that invest in continuous training and development earn a greater sense of loyalty and create a lasting impression among employees. The concept of cross-training is a practice that can be implemented with little or no budget. Educating more than one employee to be able to do a job may help provide backup in times of absence, or support in times of increased workload. Employees may spend a few hours each week with another department to learn other job responsibilities in addition to their own. For example, have employees rotate answering the phones at the reception desk for an hour a week, or have office staff help in the warehouse periodically.  This method helps others gain more knowledge about the company and maybe an appreciation for the demands of a coworker’s job.

Reduced Turnover
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates that the cost of turnover can be as much as 6-9 months’ salary for an exiting employee. Allowing the option for employees to engage in additional training opportunities is a proactive approach to reducing turnover in your organization. Employees who are not engaged at work are more likely to consider leaving to pursue other opportunities. The more an organization invests in employee training and development, the greater the concern that those high performing employees will leave and take their knowledge somewhere else, when, in fact, the opposite is true. Studies show that comprehensive employee training programs have been linked to improved retention and engagement rates. Employee training programs have also been shown to reduce absenteeism in the workplace.

Increased Skills and Advancement Opportunity
By offering employees the opportunity to acquire new skills and enhance their existing skills, you are providing a clear path for advancement within the company. This is especially important if your company wants to attract the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. 87% of millennial candidates say that career development is one of the most important factors in a job search, according to a recent Gallup survey. One of the major things that differentiates millennials from other generations in today’s workplace is that they are more motivated by the prospect of learning and growing within an organization than they are by monetary compensation. The prospect of a career where employees can see themselves continually learning and developing new skills increases the probability that they will stay with your company.

Greater Employee Satisfaction
Employees who understand the inner workings of a company are more likely to establish a connection to the organization and experience a greater level of satisfaction at work.  Creating scenarios where individuals can demonstrate additional skills and acquire new ones has direct ties to employees’ satisfaction with their work and pride in their employer. Nurturing the existing capabilities and teaching new ones demonstrates that the organization values what they bring to the table and is invested in their future. Sixty-two percent of employees cited “opportunities to use skills and abilities” as a very important factor in determining job satisfaction, according to the SHRM’s Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement research report. Another recent SHRM article sites The Container Store as an example of a company that is harnessing the benefits of employee development.  The chain provides more than 250 hours of training in each employee’s first year and has been rated by Fortune magazine as among the best places to work for 17 years straight.

Establishes a Pipeline of Talent
The unemployment rate is holding steady at its lowest level in over a decade. It is no secret that this is a very challenging climate in which to hire talent to fill open positions. Not filling those positions quickly can be extremely costly. Due to a record skills shortage, many employers are having difficulty finding employees with the skills needed to grow their business. Training and development programs are one way that employers can create their own talent pipeline. With so much emerging technology and data available to us, many companies will require someone to gather and interpret that data. A useful program for your organization may be one that can train existing employees in data analysis and interpretation. You may consider offering tuition reimbursement to employees who enroll in a degree program with this focus.

Implementing a training and development program will take time and commitment, but the benefits can be truly worth the effort. According to SHRM, learning in a group environment boosts individual and team knowledge, refines processes and provides an excellent team-building opportunity for your organization. The opportunity to attend conferences and seminars, receive tuition reimbursement, and managerial or technical training carry enormous weight with employees today. Whatever type of program you decide to institute, it should be optional, not obligatory. In addition to providing skills and knowledge that are vital to the organization’s success, it should also be geared toward the interests, goals and strength of your employees. Investing in your employees in this way will increase the odds that they remain your employees for years to come.

Bradley Staffing Group is a full-service staffing firm based in Wayne, PA. We are committed to matching A-level talent with best-in-class businesses. Our knowledgeable and well-trained staff brings a combined 70+ years of staffing experience to our clients and candidates alike.

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