Unfortunately, when company budgets get slashed, one of the first items on the chopping block is training.

Employee learning and development is often viewed as a cost center rather than a profit center. And areas not directly linked to revenue generation are typically easier to whittle away. However, research shows that cuts in training development can go much deeper and resonate noticeably longer than business leaders may initially predict.

Many companies are already experiencing huge gaps in skilled and knowledgeable workers. And soon millions of Baby Boomers—the experienced team members who are familiar with corporate strategy and understand and share company values—will be eligible to retire. With limited or no opportunity to experience effective training today, employees will be less prepared to become the leaders that companies need tomorrow.

The reasons to invest in employee training include more than the obvious desire to ensure compliance and measure performance. Learning and development programs can directly and indirectly affect multiple aspects of business.

For instance:

  • Greater Employee Retention: It’s less expensive to keep star employees than to replace them with less knowledgeable workers. To keep valuable team members in place, create opportunities for them to learn and grow professionally.
  • Higher Staff Morale: Employees given the opportunity to hone their skills and improve themselves professionally typically build more positive relationships with their employers and are less likely to leave.
  • Enhanced Motivation: Employees may claim compensation as the primary excuse for leaving a company, but money is a short-term satisfier, not a long-term motivator. To enhance employee motivation, offer learning and skill development programs that will open doors for career opportunities.
  • Improved Culture: Training allows employees to understand a consistent company culture, which provides the energy a business needs to be successful.

To get the most from limited training dollars, take advantage of the benefits of e-Learning. Provide self-paced training programs that accommodate different learning styles and diverse employee schedules. Keep in mind that Generation X and Y workers, as well as many Boomers, have grown up with technology, so take advantage of the latest tools, apps and gadgets to keep employees engaged and active in their learning.

Training should not be considered a luxury that is only valuable when business is good. Employee training and development is an investment that is critical to the success of your business—especially when asking more from fewer employees.

About the Author: Patrick is the Director of Editorial Development at NexLearn. He has over 20 years experience converting ideas into words. He has helped develop hundreds of hours of immersive learning for some of the world’s leading organizations…and he’s picked up an armful of cool shiny and see-through awards along the way. He loves the challenge of creating innovative learning programs that entertain, engage, and actually teach. Contact Patrick at pmileham@nexlearn.com.