How to communicate the importance of employee training to get easy buy-in
L&D professionals understand the importance of employee training. However, the trick is articulating this value to key stakeholders in order to get the necessary time, prioritization and investment. You have to get people to think differently about training and its inherent value and it’s not about checking a box. It’s about equipping employees to deliver the best possible results and customer experience while also feeling better about their own work. The benefits span across the entire organization.
6 benefits of employee training programs
Supporting employees throughout their learning journey—from onboarding and compliance to upskilling and career development—is essential. If you’re having a difficult time communicating or reinforcing the importance of employee training, here is some hard data that clearly demonstrates the value or training investment.
1. Training increases profit
Gallup research has found that companies that invest in employee development report 11% greater profitability than companies that don’t. Well-trained employees promote a better customer experience (thereby contributing to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty) and also stick around longer, which reduces retention costs. In addition, a well-trained team is better equipped to keep pace with change and execute on business priorities, whether they be maximizing sales, providing rapid service or maintaining an optimal customer experience.
2. Training increases retention
The Gallup research additionally revealed that effective employee development can double an organization’s retention rate, which ties back to profitability as high turnover comes at a hefty cost. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that it can cost the equivalent of 6 to 9 months of an employee’s salary to locate and train their replacement. And given that all of this research was conducted prior to the Great Resignation, the cost is likely even higher now. In this age of dwindling retention, you must prioritize reducing employee turnover. Quality training helps make this a reality. Employees are better prepared, more confident and better equipped for upward mobility.
3. Training supports internal mobility
LinkedIn research has found that the average employee retention span is 2.9 years, but the number jumps to 5.4 years for companies with strong internal mobility. This data goes hand in hand with the Gallup research above, but it’s not about retention alone. It’s about the role of upward mobility in promoting retention. Training enables you to promote from within and build an agile workforce, thereby promoting higher engagement and giving employees a sense of purpose while strengthening your organization overall. To satisfy this training benefit, your organization must support not just core job training but also upskilling and reskilling.
4. Training supports employee engagement
Research has shown that formal workplace training positively impacts employees’ level of engagement. This is another important point to emphasize when communicating the importance of employee training, as employee engagement rates are dangerously low. In 2022, average employee engagement hovers around 32%, down 4% from 2021. And about 17% of employees are actively disengaged. Not only are non-engaged and actively disengaged employees less productive, but they’re less likely to stick around due to a lack of job satisfaction. Effective training can turn the tide when done right.
5. Training breeds long-term success
The majority of employees believe that learning is instrumental to success in their careers. This is especially true of younger Gen-Z employees (76%) but the sentiment is true across all generations including Millennials (61%), Gen-X (56%) and Baby Boomers (55%). And while everyone buys into the value of learning in their career, it’s especially true early on when employees have less practical experience and likely need additional opportunities to develop foundational skills. While the dividing lines may be especially clear across generations, it’s not simply a matter of age. Often, it’s a matter of experience or tenure.
6. Employees want training
Hiring is difficult right now, and it’s more important than ever to incentivize quality candidates. It’s worth noting, then, that 65% of prospective employees look for employer-provided upskilling opportunities when evaluating a potential new job, and 48% of employees would switch to a new job if it offered them the opportunity to expand their existing skills. Employees don’t just want to fulfill a job role. They want to expand their skill set and grow as career professionals. This is a perk worth emphasizing.
What employee training accomplishes for businesses
Statistics are great, but if you need to communicate the importance of employee training to key stakeholders, it’s often best to focus on how training benefits the organization specifically. These benefits include:
- A more knowledgeable, prepared workforce. First and foremost, you need to ensure that your employees are equipped to do their jobs efficiently, accurately and safely. Better knowledge leads to better employee performance.
- A more confident workforce. Confident employees are more engaged and better equipped to take necessary actions in the moment. That’s why Axonify includes confidence assessments as part of the digital training process. When you use this frontline LMS, you can see—at a glance—if there’s ever any discrepancy between an employee’s knowledge and confidence, and that’s extremely valuable.
- A more agile workforce. We’ve discussed the importance of upskilling and reskilling. By continuously training employees, you can ensure that your team is always prepared to shift gears and tackle different roles on short notice. You can also promote from within more easily.
- A more engaged workforce. Less than a third of employees are actively engaged in the workplace, but with proper training, you can beat the odds.
- A better customer experience. On the frontline, you want knowledgeable and confident employees who are capable of meeting customers’ needs in the moment and responding to any challenges that arise. This leads to a better customer experience and greater customer loyalty. See also: Customer experience VS customer service – what’s the difference?
Make a commitment to train employees for success
Once you understand the importance of training, the next step is making a commitment to follow through according to best practices. This means not only teaching the fundamentals but tailoring the learning so that it’s continuous, engaging, measurable, adapted to the learner and carried out in accordance with brain science. For more information on how to implement effective training and development programs, refer to the following resources:
- How to make employee training more engaging
- How to implement an effective employee training program in 5 easy steps
- A side-by-side comparison of common employee training methods
- How to use training and development goals to strengthen your team
- How to establish and enforce expectations for training & development
It bears repeating: Job training matters! Discover the difference that an effective training and development program can make for your organization.