Posted: June 13, 2017
By: Nicole Laidler
Why untrained employees may be your biggest business expense
Companies come up with all sorts of reasons to avoid investing in employee training programs.
Training is costly. It takes time away from productive work. Training is not the employer’s responsibility. People can learn on the job, or on their own time. And our favourite – if employees receive more training they may ask for higher pay, or leave for a better position elsewhere.
Those excuses ignore the most important question: What is the cost of not training your employees?
Whether you’re an established organization or business start-up one thing is certain - failing to invest in employee training will hurt your bottom line.
Untrained employees cost you customers
We’ve all felt the frustration of dealing with an employee who can’t answer our basic questions about a product or service. Lack of knowledge about products and procedures is the fastest way to drive your customers to the competition.
Untrained employees are inefficient
A company is only as good as its employees. Employees who are not properly trained may not fully understand their job, and that can undermine the success of any business.
Having employees who are poorly trained can also result in an inefficient work flow and costly errors. If your employees are making the same mistakes over and over again, it’s time to look at your training programs, rather than at your people.
Untrained employees are unhappy employees
Making employees feel like valued team members is not just about putting smiles on people’s faces. There is a proven correlation between having happy employees and running a successful business.
Employees who feel unappreciated and underutilized become frustrated with their work. They feel less loyal to their company, disengage, and may fail to meet your most basic standards.
At this point, you may decide to fire them for poor performance. But before you do, consider this: hiring someone new can cost up to 30% of the job’s salary. It is almost always more expensive to find and hire new employees than to train or retrain current ones.
Untrained employees are more likely to leave
This is especially true for the Millennial generation.
A recent PwC survey found that 35% of Millennials name comprehensive training and development programs as the top benefit they would want from a company, just behind opportunities for career progression (52%) and competitive wages and other financial incentives (44%).
In addition, employees of all ages who feel they cannot achieve their career goals at the current company are 12 times more likely to leave according to IBM’s The Value of Training report. That number grows to 30 times for new hires.
Employee training as an investment in your business
If retaining your top talent is a key priority for your organization, you simply can’t afford not to invest in employee training programs. Promoting employee education and skill development should be an ongoing priority.
Effective training should be tailored to the needs of your organization and its employees. It could mean sending your managers to a weekend conference, taking employees out of the workplace for an interactive morning workshop, or offering online courses that can be completed at the employee’s own pace and schedule.
Whatever form it takes, effective training will leave your employees feeling valued, empowered, and engaged, and will be one of the best investments you can make in your business.