Training is one of the most popular areas that we work with our clients on. Many of our clients are looking at deploying team training, corporate learning programs, or individual skill development programs and are endeavoring to offset the costs wherever possible. After all, these are normally expensive programs that will result in a direct cost (i.e. the cost of a trainer or course and the cost of employee time on the course) as well as an indirect opportunity cost (i.e. the time your employees spend in training is traditionally seen as non-productive).
Making this type of investment in your people, then, should be analyzed with a Return on Investment factored in.
In some cases, it’s a clear ROI: complete the training and the business will be able to generate more revenue, increase profitability, win a new contact, etc. In other cases, however, it’s more difficult to gauge an ROI as it’s harder to attribute the training to a revenue-generation impact. In this post, we want to look at the Return on Investment beyond dollar figures: what impact training has on your people and your company that cannot be quantified.
What’s the Value of Training Your Team?
Upskilling your team has tremendous value to your company. Not only will more skilled employees work more efficiently and/or take on more complex work, you’ll also find that they will be happier overall – which leads to higher employee satisfaction and higher retention rates.
All this correlates with increased productivity and operational performance. Data from the Conference Board of Canada shows that “…organizations with strong learning cultures exhibit better overall organizational performance.” With all of this in mind, it’s interesting to note that Canadian businesses spent on average $889 per employee per year on corporate training, learning, and professional development.
The Conference Board survey goes on to say that, “Organizations with strong learning cultures exhibit better overall organizational performance in the areas of employee engagement, customer satisfaction, overall productivity, and overall leadership performance compared to organizations with weak learning cultures.”
This is echoed across virtually every industry and job type, with the overall message being the same: a company that invests in its people will generally attract and retain happier, more satisfied, and more engaged staff.
Keeping Pace with Shifting Markets
Another important reason to consider deploying continuous development and training programs is that it helps ensure your team stays on the top of the industry. As your competition, customers, and the overall market shift with new technologies, products, services, and expectations, it’s important to make sure your staff are sharp and stay ahead of any changes in the industry.
Companies that engage in employee training, continuous professional development, or other corporate training programs are usually more innovative and tend to have a better position in the industry.
It’s not surprising that companies that are willing to invest in their team tend to lead in their industries – after all, if they have the most engaged and satisfied employees then they’re likely to perform better overall.
Investing in corporate training projects helps to upskill your team and ensure their skills are relevant in the market. Engaging in professional development ensures you’re aware of upcoming changes, new trends, new technologies, etc. that will help you become a better adopter and adapter of change.
Offset Training Costs through Grants
With all the benefits of training and employee upskilling in mind, we’ve seen a significant uptick in organizational spending on training. To help offset the cost of training, companies can utilize Canadian small business grants.
Programs such as the Canada-Ontario Job Grant can help businesses reduce the costs of training projects and improve their ability to engage their team in new skill development.
To learn more about how government funding can support your training projects, register for an upcoming Hiring and Training webinar!