How to Offer Training and Development to Show Employees You Value Them
Published: Oct 09, 2017 By K. H. Queen
There are big benefits to your business when you offer training and development to your employees. Engaged employees are more productive and less likely to leave. Here’s how to offer training and development to show your employees you value them.
By The Numbers
According to the Center for American Progress, replacing a worker costs about one-fifth of that person’s annual salary—and replacing higher-level workers costs even more. Training and development is one way to build employment engagement. Disengaged employees are 12 times more likely to leave than engaged employees, according to a survey by Glint. Customer retention rates are 18 percent higher when employees are highly engaged.
Good training and development needn’t break the bank, says Jacob Morgan, author of The Employee Experience Advantage. “With the modern technologies we have available today, there’s really no excuse not to invest,” Morgan says. “Does anyone want to work for an organization that doesn’t invest in its people?”
Training Builds Skills
Training and development are often bundled together, but the two are different. “Training is usually about focusing on a particular skill, usually in the shorter term,” Morgan says. “For example learning how to create a client strategy document or weld a pipe.”
Focusing on an employee’s specific skills ensures the worker is able to perform his or her job as the world keeps evolving,” Morgan says. “Without training we'd still have people delivering milk, operating switch boards, and manually stacking bowling pins,” Morgan says. “The world changes, and we need to adapt.”
Development Fosters Growth
On the other hand, development is usually a longer-term type of education that focuses on the growth of the individual, Morgan says. Examples include developing soft skills such as emotional intelligence, leadership, decision-making, communication, self-motivation, creativity, time management and teambuilding.
Personalize Your Programs
One size does not fit all for training or development. Understand that the personalized needs of the employees are crucial, Morgan says. One of the big challenges with traditional educational institutions is that they oftentimes teach a set curriculum to everyone. Most corporate training and development programs tend to operate the same way. Instead, make your training as modular, flexible and personalized as possible.
When looking at training and development opportunities, make sure to understand whether the employee wants growth, a promotion or both, Morgan says. Often, advancement gets bucketed in with training and development but these are very different things. Training and development refers to growth. Advancement refers to a forward progression in status. Then, ask your employees what they want in terms of both training and development. “Developing employees works only when you understand what it is your employees want to develop, so the process needs to be quite transparent and collaborative,” he says.
Offer On-Site Mentoring
Almost any employee can benefit from a coach or mentor—someone to turn to with questions and to ask for guidance. “The best thing that employees can do on-site is create mentoring and coaching programs,” Morgan says. Asking senior employees to befriend and mentor younger employees builds connections without spending money.
Offer Online Classes
Companies can build employee skills and knowledge by providing access to online classes via partnerships with educational outlets such as Udemy, Skillshare and Coursera, Morgan says. Most of these classes can be accessed anywhere and from any device. Workers could take the classes on their own time or on company time.
Empower employees to better themselves. “It can be more effective to tell employees that they should be more accountable over their own training and development versus assuming that the organization will be responsible for everything. The company can provide resources such as free access to online classes but ultimately, the employee guides their own learning and growth. The company provides the coaching, mentoring and the sources, but employees need to step up to take action.”
What if these newly-trained, developed, empowered employees leave the company? “A CEO and his CFO are having a discussion about education and training,” Morgan says. “The CFO says, ‘We're spending a lot of money on training and development programs, what happens if the employees just leave?’ The CEO smiles and says, ‘What happens if we don't spend any money on training and development programs, and the employees stay?’”