• Dr. Elizabeth Jenkins

5 Great Reasons Employee Development Is Worth the Investment

When running a business, it may be tempting to skimp on budgeting for employee development, but beware! How much you invest in your employees is one of the most important decisions that your organization must make. Ongoing training and education of valuable employees is essential to your business’s success. Here are five of the top benefits of budgeting education dollars for ongoing professional development of your employees:

Limit Turnover Most positions your employees fill require initial investment on your part as the business owner and the longer your employees stay, the more they know. One of the biggest financial drains to businesses is employee turnover. Poorly trained employees are more likely to leave their jobs within the first year. This turnover has been estimated to cost US businesses $11 billion each year (https://www.dalecarnegie.com/employee-engagement/engaged-employees-infographic/).

Bottom line: It costs less to train employees well and keep them than train them poorly and repeatedly restart the process with new employees. Supporting staff in their professional development demonstrates a commitment to their well-being, resulting in satisfied, loyal employees.

Attract the Best Employees Employees value the opportunity for continued education and training in their jobs, and this can make the difference between the most talented individuals choosing to work for you versus choosing to work for someone else. Potential employees are looking for a workplace that will support their autonomy, value their input, and support their own goals for professional growth. By investing in employee development, you will have the opportunity to develop the reputation in your industry as a company that is pro-employee and will invest in the skills and creativity that employees bring to the workplace.

Promote from Inside Your Ranks “Better the employee you know than the applicant you don’t.” Finding great talent outside of your company is an expensive process. Not to mention the fact that new hires are less familiar with the day to day operations of your organization and thus not as well equipped to “hit the ground running” when they join your company. In addition, hiring from the outside is risky, because you don’t always know what you are going to get. Promoting from within your organization allows you to observe the work of your employees and determine who may be the best for promotion into leadership positions in your organization.

Create a Future-Oriented Work Culture Investing professional training and development in your workers means that you are building for the future of your organization. It is much less expensive to “grow your own” than it is to bring in expertise from elsewhere, and this is true for your employees; they are your business’s best asset. All too many businesses have failed due to a short-sighted approach to growth and development. By committing to ongoing training and education for your staff, you are creating leaders and experts who are knowledgeable about the newest contributions in the field and able to integrate the “latest and greatest” into your product. You are ensuring that your team members remain up to date and keep your organization competitive. You will be promoting innovation and creativity that will set your business ahead in the race. You are trusting your employees with the future of your company, and they will respond by trusting you (https://hbr.org/2017/07/want-your-employees-to-trust-you-show-you-trust-them).

Encourage Employee Engagement There’s a lot of talk these days about the importance of employee engagement. Empowered employees tend to be engaged employees. Engaged employees are more creative and productive. Employees who are not engaged complete only what is required of them and no more. 71% of employees are not fully engaged. Employees who are not engaged at work are costly as well, at more than $500 billion per year. (https://www.dalecarnegie.com/employee-engagement/engaged-employees-infographic/). Worse, actively disengaged employees may work against the well-being of the organization, creating an environment that is toxic and leads to dissatisfaction in other employees as well. It’s almost as if the disengaged employees are contagious, leading to stressful relationships among all employees and increased physical and mental health days even in the more engaged staff.

Providing support for education and training for your employees is a cornerstone for building a successful workplace. Your investment will increase employee loyalty and confidence that they will be able to improve their skills and advance in their careers while working with you. This confidence increases engagement and workplace motivation which are associated with improved performance and creativity and decreased turnover. The workplace goes from being a place where the employee works for the organization to a place where the organization also works for the employee.

By investing in employee development, you will increase employee engagement; you will support shared agendas for the future by addressing the employee’s goals professionally as well as supporting the organization’s mission; you will increase creativity and productivity; and you will retain your best and attract additional talent from the outside.

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