With the daily demands of keeping a workplace productive and profitable, many managers may overlook one simple perk that's been proven to boost employee retention: professional training.Employees Training

If you’re a manager interested in retaining good employees—and, let’s face it, that’s all managers—it may be time to look at your training efforts. Studies across a variety of industries indicate that professional training increases employee retention.

Training Employees is Cheaper than Replacing Them

While keeping an eye on your bottom line, you may be tempted to think that employee training is just too costly. But this is pennywise-and-pound-foolish thinking, because turnover can cost you much, much more. Estimates vary widely by industry and position, but replacing an employee can cost upwards of 25% of the departing employee's salary and benefits. Considering this figure, if you have several positions that become vacant in a given year, your turnover expenditures can quickly run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Options for Every Budget

Clearly, an investment in training is by far the better value. Let’s take a look at some training options, ranging from most to least expensive. Tuition reimbursement, whether for a degree program or single classes, is always popular but can be pricey. However, tuition can be deducted from the employer's taxes as a business expense, subject to IRS rules. Furthermore, an employee working toward a degree has a built-in motivation to stay with the organization funding his or her studies. Paying for licensing or certification is another option to consider, as is sending your employee to off-site seminars or technical training. You may even choose to bring training sessions in house and offer them to a group of employees at once.

 

Some companies train employees through professional or trade associations, which sponsor regular conferences or trade shows. These events often offer a range of seminars or breakout sessions that enable attendees to select relevant and interesting topics. Online training is another alternative that's both cost-effective and schedule-friendly. Finally, formal mentoring or job shadowing is a low-cost training method that can give your employees the opportunity to learn from more seasoned staffers.

Communicate with Employees

Whatever training options you chose, be sure to communicate them in a clear and consistent fashion. Tuition reimbursement, for example, should be outlined as a benefit in your employee handbook and mentioned to any prospective job candidate. All training opportunities should be carried out fairly and without bias. Outline eligibility, approval, registration, and reimbursement procedures in writing, and be sure to ask for formal employee feedback on any company-sponsored education and training. Employees should be able to tell you how any given class or session improves their performance and ability to help meet company goals.

Lastly, remember that offering training demonstrates how much your employees matter to you, and that they are a worthwhile investment. In fact, your employees are your most important asset, and training them well should enhance their value, their loyalty, and your company’s reputation in the market.

Steps to Successful Employee Communication [Video Blog]

Topics: employees training, training

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