Done Right, Training is an Investment That Pays Off

Formal training provides tools employees need to perform today and prosper tomorrow. Employees want to learn and grow, and they might look elsewhere if their employer does not provide it.

Formal training is also good for organizations because it helps ensure strong execution and minimizes errors.


Common methods for providing training are:

  • E-learning in virtual classrooms
  • In-person training with instructors
  • Mobile learning with different applications
  • Blended learning (a mix of everything)

At average organizations, about half of employees say they get the training they want, according to research by Energage. That number jumps to 74% or higher at Top Workplaces.

Leaders play a critical role in an organization’s training culture. They determine funding for scalable training programs as a resource for growth.

It’s essential for managers to keep employees informed about training opportunities and to encourage them to attend. For employees whose plates are full, managers can assist with re-prioritizing or reallocating priorities to free up time.

Employees need to be proactive when it comes to training; they can discuss skills they would like to develop and identify internal or external resources. Employees who are interested in gaining new skills, improving performance, and taking on new responsibilities are usually the most receptive to learning opportunities.

For new employees, onboarding often includes a variety of training, and the best organizations encourage feedback from new hires and their teams. At a minimum, training should help new hires perform their jobs effectively. The best onboarding sets up employees for long-term growth and success.

To ensure any training investments pay off, organizations should collect feedback. And whenever possible, set and measure learning outcomes from training.

Also, be sure to train for the future. Training that focuses only on current roles ignores what lies ahead. Employees want to grow, and employers can help them do so by providing training aligned with not only their goals and aspirations but the organization’s long-term objectives as well.

Still unsure whether training pays off? Consider these benefits:

  • Improved employee retention
  • Increased employee engagement
  • More productivity
  • Boosted employee morale
  • Consistent work processes
  • Less employee supervision
  • Increased ability to promote from within
  • Reduced waste
  • Better knowledge of company policies and goals
  • Better work environment
  • Improved technology proficiency 
  • Stronger brand reputation
  • More effective onboarding
  • Keeps the company competitive
  • Attracting top talent

Training and development build future leaders by providing the education necessary for growth. Preparing your best employees for upward mobility is one of the primary advantages of training and development and a key to succession planning. 

Bob Helbig is media partnerships director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s survey partner for Top Workplaces.

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