Tina has 20 years experience in business management including HRM. She holds a Certificate IV in Human Resource Management.
Training Only Begins With Employee Induction
The benefits of training employees have been proven time and time again. It is an essential element at the start of every new employee's journey but it should also factor into an organisations ongoing culture. In most situations the ROI (return on investment) for ongoing training of employees is significantly positive.
Employee training increases retention. It engages employees in personal development and fosters loyalty by adding value to the employment relationship. It also provides people with extra skills to improve life situations.
Training employees about their role and how an organisation knits together is an essential part of business. But many organisations deliver a standard one week induction program rather than valuing a longer induction period with refresher training for long-term employees. Instead, employers who embrace training engage and prepare their employees.
Does Training Employees Add Value to Your Business?
Training in an organisation encompasses many different stages and reasons. A new employee would expect to have induction training, while a longer serving employee might be upskilling or participating in succession planning. While the strengthening of company culture, policies and process can benefit from training, on-the-job training is key to improving the performance of duties and tasks, leading to increased productivity and service.
Companies who continually provide ongoing training to employees are more likely to experience lower turnover, reduced cost of recruitment for replacement staff, increased loyalty and commitment, and a stronger alignment with company values. Training goes beyond the initial learning of an organisation's rules and culture and the duties of a new employee to the reinforcement of standards, expectations and the organisation's values and goals.
Scott Brum, University of Rhode Island, released a research paper, "What Impact does Training Have on Employee Commitment and Employee Turnover?" Brum provides a 1994 empirical study which compared companies that valued control strategies over companies that valued commitment strategies as evidence that "Job search, retention, employee’s desire and intent to leave, and attitude toward the organization can all be improved with a strategy that seeks to enhance employee commitment."
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A later study in 2006 by Owens that had similar findings is also highlighted in Brum's research. Owens found that trained employees were generally more committed to the organisation and less likely to leave. Training was one human resource action that could gain commitment from an employee. The more specific the on-the-job training that provided, the less likely turnover became.
In a nutshell, employee training:
- increases productivity
- improves employee retention
- improves service quality
- broadens the employee knowledge of the business
- encourages loyalty
- teaches new skills that can benefit the employee outside of the organisation
- increases employee engagement
- reduces replacement hire costs
- helps with motivation.
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Specific on-the-job training can manifest employee confidence and familiarity with systems, which in turn improves the quality and value of services. Employees begin to take more pride in their work as they retain key concepts and reach personal goals more easily. As they feel more confident with duties, employees can begin to train and mentor other employees, which reinforces the initial training again and helps to develop social connections within the work environment.
How Much Training Should Your Organisation Conduct?
The advice I heard recently, "You train until you don't need to train anymore."
In the USA, the top 125 companies for training are spending between 0.30% to 8% of payroll as their training budget. The top company in this list, published online by trainingmag.com, is Farmers Insurance in LA, who have an innovative training program that includes Pulse Checks and an Employee Benefit Webinar.
If you are planning an employee training program within your organisation, then you will benefit from conducting an ROI on Training. Multinational, Business Training Experts have released a free training white paper on How to Determine Training ROI.
What types of training should employees receive?
- Orientation, Induction, Onboarding programs are designed to help welcome and train new employees and induct them into the organisation's values and culture.
- On-the-Job Training is training conducted while the employee is performing their duties. It can be specific or general. Specific relates to skills that apply only to that organisation and are not transferable elsewhere, whereas general skills can be useful for future employment options.
- Refresher training is designed to assist with re-training and includes training for performance or behavioural counselling programs.
- Development or Upgrading is the learning of new skills and knowledge which may be useful for providing to committed employees involved in succession planning programs or new projects.
The influence of training within an organisation needs to be measured and reviewed to determine its effect. Reported in an IBM White Paper, "The Value of Training", A Merrill Lynch study reports Motorola's spending in training has gained, per dollar spent on training, an estimated US $30 in productivity gains within three years.
Don't Underestimate The Value of Training
Over the last twenty years, I've worked for a variety of organisations where "training" was often rolled out as the issue of a memorandum, written policy or procedure. Employees were requested to read and sign. This is not training, but safeguarding an organisation. It provides no real benefit to the employee, who may often sign without reading or understanding the directive. In this type of situation, senior and line managers need to deliver the content of the memorandum to their subordinates, in a way which is both meaningful and results-driven. For training to be successfully delivered, managers also need to receive training on how to train their people and how effective training benefits not just the organisation, but their role within it.
Organisations that promote employee training programs as an employee benefit attract candidates seeking career progression and with a far greater willingness to commit. Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation with the training and commitment which fosters employee retention.
Training is an opportunity for an organisation to foster cultural change and brand awareness, while strategically developing the workforce to provide improved productivity and services.
How well does your organisation embrace employee training?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2012 Tina Dubinsky