Several key factors always hover on the list of employer concerns in nearly every industry. Employee engagement and productivity are almost always on the list as turnover rates, profits, efficiency, and customer experience are directly related to both. Which makes them critical factors contributing to a business’s lifespan, stability, growth, and health.
Despite engagement and productivity’s nearly permanent spots on that list, it’s common for businesses to address the two with a one-and-done approach. This is especially true for small businesses that lack a significant budget for employee experience. But providing employees with a benefits package and break room won’t go very far in encouraging real engagement in their work.
Employees need more than having their basic needs met to feel engaged. They need to see a direct investment in their success as your employee and as an individual. A vast majority of millennials say they want career development opportunities from their jobs.
A recent report by Axonify exposes the gap between what employees want and what businesses are providing them. Their principal findings include:
- Nearly a third of employees fail to receive formal workplace training
- A quarter of employees don’t receive training after onboarding
- Almost 60% of employees fail to receive additional training and skill development from their employers
- 81% of employees say training makes them feel more engaged and happy at work
While many employers are ignoring training as a benefit for their employees, providing training and professional development is an incredibly smart tactic for boosting profits.
Giving employees opportunities for skill development and training can have a massive impact on the value they contribute. Businesses that provide formalized training can more than double their income per employee than companies that don’t.
Investing in employee skills is investing in the agility and strength of your company. It creates a stronger relationship between company and employee, encouraging loyalty and engagement, which can lower turnover rates. The cost of turnover alone should be a driving factor in implementing strategies to keep your employees learning and engaged.
Losing an employee can cost 1.5-2x their annual salary. Yet, it can cost between $135 - $750 for an individual community college course, depending on the length of the class. That’s a reasonably small investment compared to the cost of losing an employee or maintaining unproductive employees.
Now is the time
The beautiful thing about living in our age of technology is our access to resources. There are seemingly endless ways companies can provide learning opportunities to their employees. Online learning databases like Skillshare, Alison, and Udemy are all options employees can access for learning and development in their own homes.
Now that a vast amount of the world is learning to work from home, there is no better time to take advantage of these training opportunities. Not only will it give your employees a chance to grow and develop their skills and what they can offer your company, but it may also help address the feelings of isolation and culture loss that many are struggling with during the pandemic.
An investment into a shared future
Providing learning development opportunities isn’t just a way to engage your employees—it’s a value statement that can have ramifications across your company culture and employee experience.
You’re not only investing in the potential of your employees to grow their roles within your company, but you’re telling them you think they are capable of that growth. Show them you value their contribution and also their potential as a professional.
Having confidence in the power and potential of your employees will lead them to see the value within themselves and feel that their value is recognized. It will create a relationship of trust and confidence that is irreplaceable. It will save money. It will save time. And it will inspire growth in the deepest level of your business. There is nothing to lose but disengagement and apathy.
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Photo by Aleksandr Davydov