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Leadership & Professional Development

Professional development Training: The secret sauce to boosting workforce ROI

Professional development Training: The secret sauce to boosting workforce ROI

Professional development is often offered as a sort of reward for employees who stay with the company long enough. But statistics show that managers who use professional development training as a carrot on a stick—a future reward for loyalty to the company—are likely to lose their employees to another organization that offers professional development as a standard part of the job—a veritable steak dinner by comparison.Employees say that the availability of professional development is a big reason for staying with a company. In a recent Gallup poll, a lack of opportunity for advancement, development, or career opportunities was the #2 reason employees gave for voluntarily leaving their jobs. Other top reasons for leaving—reasons that career training could prevent—are unrealistic job expectations/responsibilities and a poor job fit or the work becoming uninteresting.We know how important keeping a trained employee base is. Isn’t it great to know that simply offering career development training can eliminate several reasons employees have for saying sayonara?

Costs of Professional Development Training

As managers, you have to break your decisions into a cost-to-benefit ratio. That’s Management 101 stuff. But rather than considering what professional development training programs cost, another approach is to consider what NOT training your employees will cost. Considering that many reasons employees give for quitting relate to limited or absent training and advancement opportunities, then you have to factor in all the costs associated with employee dissatisfaction and turnover.You have the tangibles such as lost productivity and the actual monetary cost of recruiting and onboarding replacements. But what about the intangibles, like low employee morale across the board and the potential for your company’s brand being tarnished?Employees who complain at work affect the morale of others—especially if those complaints are legitimate (e.g., if the company really doesn’t offer many growth opportunities). Also, employees who complain at work also tend to complain at home and among their friends. In short, word gets around.So, if you take the cost of a training program and subtract the cost of employee dissatisfaction and turnover, you’ll get a better idea of the actual value of professional development training for your company.

What Types of Professional Development Training Matter

Training is crucial to bridging skill gaps, weathering labor fluctuations, and fostering acceptance and inclusion. Another key benefit is how training can promote a cohesive corporate vision.In the modern era, professional development training that does occur has for years focused on training up an employee’s technical skills. However, because of the prevalence of technology in our everyday lives, many younger employees (I don’t know why “Millennial” is still the generic term for “young people” when most of them are in their 30s and 40s now), tech training is less of a lift than it used to be. It’s obviously still necessary since technology is advancing and evolving in leaps and bounds. It’s just that technology isn’t as hard for younger employees to grasp now as it was 15 or 20 years ago. What’s become very important in today’s business landscape, with the technology being such a big part of all our interactions now, is the need to train employees in their soft skills that improve their ability to interact socially, like diplomacy and leadership training.Interpersonal skills have suffered as a result of the relationship many people have with tech devices. And the ability to interact socially is called a “skill” for a reason: without learning and practicing these necessary behaviors, they don’t develop. To foster an environment of inclusion and belonging in your workplace, it’s important to train employees to be accepting and socially present.In the end, we can’t deny that professional development is an investment for which a cost–benefit analysis does apply. But is a training program really more expensive than the cost of being unable to retain a deep pool of dedicated employees? How much does it cost—monetarily and in terms of reputation—to regularly replace employees who quit to find better opportunities?We know that you want to retain your employees, and we know you want them to have both the tech know-how and business skills necessary for them to succeed. If you’re interested in learning more about the trainings we offer, feel free to contact us.

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