In today’s competitive times, a successful business needs to stay agile and cost-efficient. And that is not possible without an aware and educated workforce.
A well designed professional development program not only contributes to the overall development of the employee, but it also benefits the growth of an organization in multiple ways.
However, employee education and training are often not a priority.
Maintaining cash flow, client communication, and other, urgent matters, can deter management from dedicating enough time and effort to staff education.
Perhaps you cannot derive the real potential of educating employees.
But when done with the right intention and methodology, it can help a business financially and operationally.
Let us take a deeper look at how educating employees can decrease business costs.
1. Cut the cost of hiring new staff
Hiring new people for a particular task is not really budget-friendly.
For instance, if you are hiring a manager that makes $40,000 a year, then you will have to shell out $20,000 to $30,000 in the recruitment and training of the employee.
But, if you start upskilling your current employees, it will have two benefits:
- There are several tasks that can be done by current employees after training for a few days. It will also give employees a sense of self-importance that the organization is trusting them and thinking about their benefit.
- You can reward loyal employees with senior positions by upskilling them and hire employees at junior levels, which is much cheaper.
Apart from building in-house expertise, it is also an excellent opportunity to groom upcoming leaders of tomorrow.
2. Prevent injuries and equipment damage
Whether your job makes you hang in the air throughout the day or keeps you glued to your computer screens, every job has its risks.
The only way to reduce exposure to injuries and business risks is by providing proper employee training.
As per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), every year more than 4 million workers suffer a serious job injury or illness.
Even with Workers’ Compensation Insurance, you will have to look for a new employee, pay for the damaged equipment repair, and hire and train a new employee.
All that causes downtime and an evident loss of productivity. By the time you have trained a new employee to fill the role, you might already miss some deadlines.
Another question is how long the new employee will take to achieve the same level of productivity as someone who’s been on the job for months or years.
A proper employee safety program in place can educate the employee about the importance of safety and how to properly operate the equipment.
3. Reduce the chances of malware and data loss
If your company hires knowledge workers, the damage and risks are less physical and more digital.
Unfortunately, those digital risks can cause even greater damage to your operations and are more challenging to solve.
Customers want to do business with only those organizations that are capable of keeping personal data of its customers safe and secure from all sorts of threats.
In the majority of the cases, employees are the weakest link in the data security chain. A data breach typically happens due to:
- loss of a document or personal device
- Human error
Proper training will encourage employees to take ownership of cybersecurity and transform them from the weakest link to security enablers.
A data breach causes disruption and can cost anywhere from $10,000 to millions of dollars. And for small businesses, that would mean shutting the business for good.
With the growing trend of Bring your own Device (BYOD), cybersecurity needs to go beyond offices as employees are more vulnerable to data security outside the office premises.
Your employees should stay as careful and vigilant at remote locations as they are at office premises. They can only do that if you make implications and consequences clear.
With the rise of remote work arrangements, this topic will be even more important.
If you already have out-of-office employees, remind them of the dangers that come with unsecured networks or irregular updates and virus checks on their own PCs.
Remember, cybersecurity should be an ongoing conversation and not just a one-off course, as hackers are constantly coming up with new ways to gain access to sensitive information.
4. It is easier to scale a business with trained employees
Capable employees are the hallmark of any successful business.
Employee development is important, and it directly affects the growth of your organization.
In fact, trained employees are enablers of business growth.
That is why it is essential to hire the right fit employees and train them further.
For example, if you want to expand your sales team, you can either upskill existing employees or choose to hire new people.
In any case, you also want to make sure every employee has the same level of knowledge without having to conduct two different training sessions.
You can compile a list of useful resources accessible to everyone or make reading some of the most important books on sales best practices and methodologies a part of your onboarding and education practice.
This will ensure that all your employees – both existing and new – have the same base on which to expand their skills.
How you hire and what candidates you chose will also have an impact on their success. Here are some of the best ways to find the perfect staff for your company:
- Don’t rush the process – conduct multiple interviews to hire the best possible employee(s). A bigger sample of people will help you detect the right candidates and prevent you from jumping onto the first one that you liked.
- Assess the behavior of the interviewee and try to gauge their personality as much as their technical skills. Remember this: skills can be developed if the attitude is right, not the other way around.
Take the hiring process of Southwest Airlines, for instance. In their interview process, they specially make sure to analyze whether the interviewee and their behavior align with their company’s core values.
One of the biggest challenges that businesses face while growing is to find qualified and efficient staff.
And if you have it already, then your half job is done.
Businesses that have already trained employees can focus on business expansion without having to worry about the tedious and expensive process of workforce recruitment.
5. Increased employee retention
When businesses think about employees and invest in their development, workers give the favor back in the form of loyalty.
And with an increasing number of job opportunities, businesses all over the globe are suffering from employee attrition.
More than being just a perk, employee development programs can help organizations to increase engagement and retention rates within the organization.
However, in a bid to cut costs, training programs are the first thing that is axed from the business schedule.
Understand that reducing the rate of attrition is more beneficial in the long run than cutting down the cost of training employees.
With technologies and business processes changing at a rapid pace, it has become crucial for businesses to keep upskilling their workforce on a regular basis.
A well trained and capable workforce will not only increase business efficiency and reduce costs, but it will also keep the workplace more safe and secure.
Moreover, when an employee sees that you are ready to invest in their development, it is a clear sign that you envision a future for them in your company—which will consequently lead to less attrition and higher engagement.
Organizations should invest generously in employee education and training for more significant long term benefits, including increased employee retention, ability to scale faster and become more cost-efficient.
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Heather Redding is a part-time assistant manager, solopreneur, and writer based in Aurora, Illinois. She is also an avid reader and a tech enthusiast. When Heather is not working or writing, she enjoys her Kindle library and a hot coffee. Reach out to her on Twitter.