“Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.” — David Rockefeller, American banker.
Great managers understand that in order for your team members to be productive and do a great job, they need to have the right tools. Some need blazing-fast computing power; others require smartphones and tablets that let them do their work on the go; still others might require specialized instruments to maximize their performance. Whatever the case, all of them need consistent training, undertaken as often as necessary to stay ahead of the changes roiling through the business field even as I write this.
No one wants to spend money when we can avoid it, especially the funds in our limited training budgets. But remember: in business, what matters isn’t what you spend now, but how much money you make from it later. You must make a short-term investment for a long-term gain (just like in time management training). It’s all about ROI. Done correctly, training produces the extraordinary levels of ROI you need to stay ahead of the game.
Why Training Matters…and works
1. Training improves employee confidence. When people know they’ve been equipped to do their jobs properly, this boosts their spirits and reassures them they can achieve levels of competency and productivity they haven’t realized in the past.
2. Training improves employee performance. When employees understands why their work matters and how to do it, they have a greater likelihood of actually hitting the mark or going above and beyond. Instructor-led classes are still popular, as well as webinars and online learning. When the Montreal Transit System implemented an immersive e-Learning system, employee performance increased 32%, and training time decreased by 50%.
3. Training saves the company money. Well-trained employees don’t make as many errors (and therefore, don’t have to waste time and money fixing them), and they require less direct supervision. Furthermore, they spend less time on problem solving since they already know what to do. Consistent training also decreases employee turnover—a big drain on corporate costs.
4. Training earns the company money. While money saved is equivalent to money earned, directly fattening the bottom line makes more people sit up and take notice. A few years ago, Nations Hotel Company invested heavily in coaching, arguably a form of one-on-one training—and saw an ROI of 221%. The Cheesecake Factory restaurant chain, which invests about $2,000 a year in training per employee, enjoys sales of $1,000 per square foot—twice the national average for their industry (they also have a much higher employee retention rate).
5. Training increases employee productivity. It doesn’t take much for this factor to boost ROI. According to “The 2001 Global Training and Certification Study” by testing firms CompTIA and Prometric, as little as a 2% increase in productivity can result in a 100% increase in training ROI. Motorola has found that every dollar invested on training can yield as much as a 30% gain in productivity within three years, which has helped them cut costs by $3 billion and increase profits by 47%.
Big Time Benefits
While some leaders view employee training as little more than an expensive bother, the facts outlined above prove it more than pays for itself in terms of employee confidence, performance, productivity, reduced turnover, and dollars earned on the bottom line. Rather than view it as a necessary evil, treat it as a positive expense—just as you would any company initiative that promises to increase profits and benefit everyone all the way down the line.