No job remains the same forever — and even if it did, your employees would rather not stagnate.
Research shows that employees want to learn and grow in their careers. Eighty-seven percent of millennials say professional development and career growth opportunities are very important factors in their employment decisions — which helps to explain why companies spend a combined $70 billion on corporate training every year in the US.
And yet, despite the increased spending, many companies still neglect ongoing employee training. The benefits that arise from such training, however, are hard to ignore. Training creates new opportunities for your employees, fosters innovative new ideas that drive revenue, and puts your company on the path to become a best-in-class employer.
What else can ongoing training do for employees? Here are just a few of its positive effects:
1. Boost Motivation
When you invest in ongoing employee training, your employees see it as an investment in them. Not only are you helping your company be successful, but you’re also giving your employees the resources they need to be successful in their own careers. As it stands, 74 percent of employees don’t feel they are reaching their full potential at work. Ongoing training gives employees a reason to keep pushing forward and doing their best.
Making training a key component of your company culture can also be a strong recruitment and retention tool. If your company invests in its people, this information can and should become part of your employer brand story.
2. Identify Strengths and Mitigate Weaknesses
Ongoing training provides the opportunity to identify skills gaps in your company and supplement as needed, whether through more training or making new hires. A 2017 survey reports that companies lose $1 million annually to the skills gap. While ongoing training and development do cost money, the return on investment is worth it.
In addition, ongoing training empowers your employees to discover and better utilize their strengths. Employees who “use their strengths every day are three times more likely to report having an excellent quality of life, six times more likely to be engaged at work, 8 percent more productive, and 15 percent less likely to quit their jobs,” according to Gallup.
3. Drive Job Satisfaction and Engagement
Employee engagement is on every HR leader’s mind right now, but only 37 percent of employees say they are very satisfied with their jobs.
In the search to find the right programs to increase engagement, ongoing employee training has become a popular initiative. In one survey, 27 percent of employees said having more opportunities at work would increase their engagement, while 20 percent said increased training and development would do the same. As you give your employees more opportunities to hone their skills and do their best in the workplace, they are able to take more personal pride in what they do.
4. Boost Skill Retention and Productivity
According to a recent HR.com report, just 44 percent of HR leaders believe productivity is on the rise in their companies. One possible reason for this: low levels of skill retention.
When employees are onboarded, they often learn skills they won’t use right away or very frequently. By the time the employee needs to actually use those skills to perform a task, the skills are long forgotten. However, with ongoing training, the employee is given the opportunity to refresh their skills whenever they want or need. Stop losing your intellectual property to a skills drain.
Another obstacle to high productivity is stress in the workplace. Fortunately, 48 percent of workers say that investing more in professional development is one of the highest-impact ways to fight stress at work.
A version of this article originally appeared on the ClearCompany blog.
Sara Pollock is head of the marketing department at ClearCompany.