According to surveys commissioned by the University of Phoenix, 94% of employers feel training and upskilling are critical, and 71% of employees feel they must continue to learn new skills to meet evolving job demands. Despite these numbers, even in the best of times, professional development is often pushed to the side or low on the priority list for organizations. With employees being asked to do more, do it better, and do it with fewer resources, the only training they are given time to do is directly linked to technical skills, safety regulations, or mandated requirements. So, why should organizations consider investing in professional training & development for their organizations when the economy and business climate is unstable and uncertain?
Here are 5 reasons why organizations should invest in professional training & development for their people:
- Organizational Innovation. The world is not the same place it was 10, 20, or 30 years ago. Think of all the advancements and new markets that have developed in that timeframe. Innovation to stay relevant in a continually changing world helps organizations to avoid becoming obsolete. Creating an organizational culture focused on continual training & professional development stimulates the desire to continually improve. This desire to improve can challenge employees to innovate themselves, the organizational products, and even the organization as a whole.
- Return on Investment. According to research from The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), organizations with comprehensive training & professional development programs can see up to a 218% higher income per employee than those with a decreased focus on professional development. This data can be seen in multiple key performance indicators, such as lower employee absenteeism, higher employee retention rates, elevated customer satisfaction scores, and increased customer acquisition, etc.
- Talent Acquisition. Today younger generations of employees coming into the workforce are looking for organizations that are willing to invest more in developing them than previous generations did. Companies with a reputation for developing their people are more attractive organizations to work for than others. This gives a hiring advantage to those companies. Employee engagement studies also show that organizations that train & develop their employees have higher retention rates. The ability to attract, hire, and retain employees creates a more profitable organization.
- Succession Planning. During the financial crisis that started in 2008, a lot of organizations laid off middle managers to reduce payroll and increase profitability. Several years later, as their senior managers started retiring or left for other opportunities, these organizations found they had a “leadership gap.” They did not have managers that were prepared or equipped to step up to the next level of leadership. Having an active professional training & development strategy to prepare leaders, so they are ready to assume more responsibility, helps eliminate the possibility of these leadership gaps occurring in your organization.
- Increased Customer Acquisition and Satisfaction. Customer churn can destroy even the largest organizations. There is a constant need to acquire new customers to replace the ones that have stopped doing business with you. According to CSO Insights, organizations that invest in sales training programs realize a higher percentage of deals won (52.6% vs. 40.5%). According to research by the Harvard Business Review, customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.
Organizations that place a key focus on training and developing their people have a strategic advantage over those that don’t. They know their employees are critical to their success because they are their most important asset.