When thinking about employee engagement, don't forget the benefits of offering a strong learning and development program. Not only is training an important investment for your new hires, it can be critical in helping employees grow within the company and stay engaged. 

 

Engage through training

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When thinking about employee engagement, don't forget the benefits of offering a strong learning and development program. Not only is training an important investment for your new hires, it can be critical in helping employees grow within the company and stay engaged.

 

What are the benefits of training?

Employees
The comprehensive study entitled Benefits of Training and Development for Individuals and Teams, Organizations, and Society noted many performance-related benefits of effective employee training, including the following:

  • Improved innovation and tacit skills
  • More adaptable expertise
  • Greater technical skills
  • Improved self-management skills
  • Easier cross-cultural adjustment
  • Increased empowerment
  • Improved communication
  • More effective planning
  • Improved task-coordination in teams

Organizations
The same study also identified many of the benefits to the entire organization:

  • Improved performance
  • Improved productivity
  • Increased effectiveness
  • Increased profitability
  • Greater revenue per employee
  • Reduced costs
  • Improved quality and quantity of products/services
  • Reduced employee turnover
  • Improved reputation
  • Increased social capital

Heather Turnbull-Smith, Ceridian Canada's director of National Learning and Development, noted that viewing training as part of a talent management strategy also shows employers the big picture.

"Assume you have a department that requires extensive training, but it has a high rate of turnover," Turnbull-Smith said. "A talent management strategy is necessary because all factors, not just training, must be considered. What attracts employees may not be what retains them. Therefore, you need to manage your talent and always have qualified people in the pipeline for succession management purposes. Otherwise, training alone won't improve retention, and your investment will walk right out the door."

Turnbull-Smith explained that it's important to harness informal learning -- a cost-effective alternative to classroom-based techniques. This semi-structured transfer of work-related skills, knowledge and information includes conversations, coaching, problem solving and more. Many employees, especially young workers, respond better to trainers who facilitate the learning process rather than simply impart knowledge.

"Informal learning will gain importance as we continue to experience a generational shift in the workplace," Turnbull-Smith said, noting it is one of the fastest-growing trends in training. "These young workers are generally self-sufficient and self-directed; the trainers need to catch up. These employees don't have the patience to sit in a classroom all day. Once they know what knowledge they need, they can usually find it themselves."