Training benefits!What’s your return on investment (ROI)?

Not too long ago during a conversation with a general manager, he made a comment that gripped my mind and I would like to talk more about it in this month’s management e-news.   The manager said his company has been training the employees however he said ‘training could not change the employees’.

Even as I could relate to his concerns that building a motivated and productive workforce has become an increasingly daunting task for human resource management what are the real benefits of training to your employees and organization?

Some management have qualms and apprehension that trainings do not bring about the behavioural performance change, process improvements, increased customer satisfaction, profitability or whatever reasons the management had the training in the first place.   When the accountability rests on your shoulders to justify training costs you begin to agonize over all these fears and more to determine whether the training will pay off for your organisations.  Well if it’s of some comfort to you, it is equally difficult to calculate the benefits from launching a new service or product, changing your human resources compensation and rewards policies, running an advertising campaign, installing new technology and so on.

To ensure that training will be beneficial to the business, here are some indicators:

1.       Do the training contents address the needs of the organisation?
2.       Are the training programs aligned to the company’s business plan?
3.       Is there a specific goal and objective and will the training help to achieve it?
4.       How are the employees using the knowledge they have learnt in their jobs?
5.       What are the implications of the training on the processes and procedures, and on how work or culture?
6.       What is the basis and criteria for selection of trainees?
7.       What other post-training programs or new training opportunities could be arranged to increase effectiveness?

The conventional means used to measure the benefits of training are feedback forms, the reactions of the trained employees, amount of training, and even the degree the behaviours has changed.  Although these methods are well and good, the real benefits of training are an improved business performance for the organisation.  Organisations should see business benefits arising from their training investment.   To evaluate that training has value with visible benefits, the other factors that may impact on that performance objective need to be separated from training initiatives.  Training could also be rolled out in phases and control groups could be set up over a duration ranging from one to three months to allow management to measure the results of the trained groups and validate benefits from training.

What could you train?  There are various skills competencies and knowledge that you could develop your employees’ potentials to contribute to an improved business performance such as in customer care excellence, stress management, health and safety, leadership skills, organisational behaviour, sales negotiation skills and information technology competencies training.  Evaluate and ascertain the training programs are right for your employees and ensure alignment with the company’s business plans and long term goals.  In addition training should also address the current pressing needs of your business, such as to close performance gaps of new hires, retain good performers, to increase customer satisfaction and increase competitive edge over competitors.

Training Benefits.  Training that successfully meets both the management and employees’ needs will lead to an increase in tangible and intangible benefits for the organisation.   Ongoing training for new and continuing management will definitely improve job performance and in most organisations, professional developments are especially valued by management level employees.    Training can also generate a ripple effect across all levels of the organisation and bring about higher productivity and quality performance in work practices, customer service, tasks accuracy and efficiency.  Over time, training will boost the bottom line in financial terms as it will reduce costs by decreasing wastage, maintenance costs of machinery and equipment, workplace accidents, recruitment costs and medical benefits from sick leave and absenteeism.

Most businesses provide on-the-job training for new employees particularly during the induction period as part of quality assurance practices.  Training employees to manage the implementation of new technology and equipments, systems and business strategies also act as a benchmark for induction programs in future recruitments.  Increase in staff retention rate is a significant cost saving, as the loss of one competent person to other organisations can be more costly than the training cost each one employee.

Studies have shown that in some companies, training programs have reduced staff turnover by 70 per cent and led to a return on investment of 7,000 per cent.  This saving can have a direct impact on your bottom-line considering that the time and resources that go into sourcing, selecting and recruiting a new employee into your organisation.  Research also revealed that employees frequently named training opportunities as a top consideration in choosing and staying with an employer and the lack for professional development is one of the top reasons cited by employees who voluntarily leave one company for another.

Business owners must continually upgrade their work practices and systems to stay competitive in a rapidly changing and globalised marketplace.   As well as positively impacting on profitability margins, training are proven ways to improve staff morale and satisfaction and develop soft skills such as communication, leadership and customer services for a superior job performance.

Training empowers your employees, shapes desired behaviors and perceptions and adds tremendous value to the organization as a whole.  For example, when employees are motivated and empowered, they can resolve guest issues effectively and greatly help to reduce stress for everyone especially management.  Decreased workplace stress leads to satisfaction for the customers as the effects roll ed over and weaved through all communication and formal structures of the organization.

From enhanced employee performance and increased job satisfaction, to better problem-solving skills, effective sales and teamwork management and eventually to customer satisfaction – it does seem too overwhelming to count the numerous ways that employee training benefits the entire organization.

Interested to find out more about benefits and return of investment on training, send us an enquiry.