Looking for an investment that will pay dividends? Employee training is the answer

“You don’t build a business – you build people.
And then people build the business.”

– Zig Ziglar

Every year, Australian businesses with at least 500 employees lose close to $5,000,000[1] due to staff turnover, so it’s no secret that taking care of your employees is beneficial for business. Research indicates that people who feel valued, happy and healthy in the workplace are more likely to be engaged, productive and remain with their employer for lengthier periods of time. This means employees will work harder for longer and save you the costly process of spending countless hours and numerous resources on hiring and training someone else to fill their role. But what is the key to achieving these outcomes for your employees and your business?

There are so many options out there. Is remuneration the key? Would a health and wellbeing program be beneficial? Could a ping pong table boost morale?

The answer may be simpler than you think.

40% of employees leave their position within the first year and specifically cite the lack of skills training and development as their principal reason for moving on[2]. Failing to invest in employee training is a common and costly oversight in many workplaces, but an easy one to recover from. Many businesses uphold the belief that upskilling employees is a costly and unrewarding process. However, if you compare these costs with the financial consequences of an unhappy employee walking out the door, the benefits of investing in employee retention via training and education becomes a blessing in disguise.

How do employee education and training programs deliver a return on investment?

As well as a reduction in turnover, there are plenty of additional benefits to a tailored and relevant employee training program. Some of these benefits include:

  • Increased loyalty
    By setting a strong internal training brand, you not only show your focus and dedication to teaching your people how to master their roles, you also show you care about their overall happiness at work. Happy employees are less likely to leave.
  • Identification of weaknesses and skill gaps
    With regular training, a business can easily identify any skill gaps within the existing workforce. By identifying these gaps early, there is time to train staff in these required areas so they can fulfill the role effectively.
  • Staying ahead of competitors
    Making sure that your staff are consistently educated and trained helps puts you one step ahead of your competitors. Educated and inspired staff are more likely to want to push the boundaries, share ideas and be leaders in the workplace.
  • New Talent
    Not only will an employee training plan help keep existing staff, it will also attract better external talent through positive employee word-of-mouth and company image. People actively seek out workplaces that are known for looking after their workforce.
  • Increased productivity
    Workplace training increases employee engagement, and highly-engaged employees are 38% more likely[3] to have above-average productivity.

One size doesn’t fit all: tailored staff training and development

Selecting the right training for an individual comes down to the specific skill set of the workers that you are trying to grow or improve. Employee training comes in many shapes and sizes and can be anything from Emotional Intelligence training to manual handling training to mental health training to on the job skills based training. Just remember that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to training your staff.

Depending on your organisation, there are some courses that will be more necessary than others. For example, it makes sense to train warehouse staff on correct manual handling procedures as the workers lift heavy loads daily. However, this may not be as applicable for occupations that involve sitting behind a desk: for these types of roles, it is important to educate staff about the risks of sedentary work and correct ergonomic practices. On the other hand, there are many courses that could benefit every business including safety training, workplace mental health training and leadership training.

A targeted employee training and development program will save your business money by improving employee engagement and retention and propel your businesses performance ahead of your competitors. Remember, employee training is an ongoing process – you can’t simply conduct a series of training sessions once and then never revisit them. Not only do you constantly have to create new training programs to reap the benefits, but you also have to reinforce what has been learnt post-training and empower your employees to implement positive change.

Don’t wait until your next employee resigns – get on the front foot and invest in your business’ most important asset – your workforce.


[1] http://workplaceinfo.com.au/hr-management/hr-strategy/costs-of-employee-turnover

[2] https://www.go2hr.ca/articles/employee-training-worth-investment

[3] https://talentculture.com/6-eye-opening-employee-engagement-statistics/