In the modern economy of the 21st century, a new business won’t derive their wealth from capital to the same extent that they did in the past. Instead, they’ll get it from their employees: crucially their ideas and their ability to be ambassadors for the company. With the costs of business infrastructure coming down all the time thanks to virtual working and the cloud. Who you employ will become a lot more important than what you employ.
A lot of companies, especially those in the knowledge sector, have already cottoned onto this new reality. They’re finding that training and employee development is yielding impressive returns. The more creative and qualified their employees are, the more revenue they generate for the business.
Focusing on employee development has so many positive knock-on effects for your business. Check out some of the following benefits.
You’re Forced To Focus On The Future
How many companies have you heard of that went under because they didn’t want to adapt to the future? Loads, no doubt. What about companies like AOL, who were determined to focus on doing business the same way as they had always done. Despite the fact that the world around them was changing at record pace?
Employee development helps management teams think carefully about the future. They’re forced to ask themselves what type of employees they will need in the future, what will their customers expect from workers in 2017, 2018 and beyond, and how important leadership and creativity will be, going forward.
Of course, the type of training that businesses offer will change along the way too. Training that was suitable for employees last year may be obsolete now. It could also be the case that customer expectations are changing. Employees training might not only have to be more advanced but also focused on a fundamentally different area. For instance, many companies are moving their sales reps over from voice to chatting live on their websites. Live chat requires a whole new bunch of skills compared to voice chat, not least the ability to type quickly and write clearly.
It Helps To Save Money
Businesses know that when their employees are performing well, it’s like having extra money in the bank. The most productive workers generate far more in revenue than they cost in wages. But getting employees to that place can be difficult.
This is part of the reason, at least according to Inc magazine, that companies invest so much of their money in training. Training actually helps them save money in the long term by making their employees more productive and efficient. Often the benefits of training far outweigh any additional costs in higher wages and bonus payments.
Great employees can help train other members of the team and pass on their good vibe to customers, increasing sales further. This is why the magazine is reporting that employee development is no longer being seen as a cost or something that’s just nice to do to attack top talent, but rather an investment that generates significant returns.
It Keeps Your Workers Engaged
The modern worker is a fundamentally different animal to the worker of yesteryear. Today’s employee doesn’t just want to turn up to work, go through the motions and get paid so that he can feed his family. Instead, he wants a purpose in his job and a real chance of progression.
As many companies have found out the hard way, bored employees can be a liability. Their negative attitudes and sloppy work habits can spill over into the rest of the team, and before long, can derail an entire business.
The key here is trajectory. Companies have found that when they offer their employees the chance to progress and get better. They have far better outcomes. Employee development prevents work from descending into a daily grind. This gives people hope that the future will be more interesting and more engaging than the present. Training can also be helpful for its own sake. Fun training programs can suddenly reignite enthusiasm in the office and turn the day job into something that is truly exciting once more.
It’s Helps Protect Your Business
A major motivating factor behind training and personal development is the fact that it helps to protect the business. Many companies invest in employee development to prevent them from getting injured to protect themselves from liability. But there are also numerous other ways in which better-trained employees can shield an enterprise from attack.
One of the ways that they can do this is through a better understanding of network and internet security. Today’s companies are under constant threat of cyber crime. Having somebody on the team who understands things like network security protocols and virtual private networks is a boon. Currently, Simplilearn details some of the globally recognized courses that are on offer, including CISSP certification. People with these qualifications have the skills to prevent businesses from losing enormous amounts of money. Often in the millions of dollars.
Better Training Helps Promote Employees From Within
Top businesses know that promoting a person from within, rather than seeking somebody from outside, has numerous advantages. For starters, it means that they avoid search costs associated with finding the right person for the role. This often tops a year’s salary. But the other reason is that it improves morale among team members. If employees see that their peers are able to move up the ranks in an organization, the see potential. And that new people aren’t be brought in over their heads, it’s a big motivation for them to work harder.
What’s more, when companies source their own employees for more senior positions, they forgo all of the hassle associated with retraining outside staff to do the work. Employees know better than most how a shop, plant or office should be operated. They usually have a lot more knowledge of their colleague’s working practices than somebody coming in from outside. This makes them ideal candidates for managerial positions.
Great employee development programs have three core features. The first is that they generate a pool of workers who are capable of taking on more complex roles within the company. Secondly, they enable workers to access promotions. And finally, they help businesses gather data on the strengths and weaknesses of their employees.
Top companies are now using data collected from training programs to assess which positions are most appropriate for each internal candidate. They’re also a chance to find out which employees have the aptitude to move further up the organization, and which require further incentives and help.
It Enables Businesses To Keep Their Best Employees
As any business owner will tell you, hanging onto employees is a significant challenge. The costs associated with losing employees and high turnover are enormous and go well beyond the bottom line. Employees will often talk to their peers and warn them off certain companies if they don’t feel like they are a great place to work. This can then make the process of recruitment ten times harder. As companies not only have to battle the loss of experienced employees, but also bad publicity.
Offering employee development is a great way to sidestep this annoying issue. Companies that have a solid employee development program, like Google, don’t tend to struggle with losing staff or bad publicity in the job market. Instead, they become magnets, attracting talent from all over the world and getting a leg up on their competitors. They generate a reputation as a great place to work, and this can generate higher sales as well as make it easier to find new people to join your team.
It’s also worth pointing out that training generates loyalty. Workers who feel looked after by a company are far more likely to stay over the long term than those who don’t. Employee development is a great way for businesses to smash any notion that their workers are somebody disposable and get their employees to see them as a tool for furthering their career and building their economic value.
There’s also one final benefit to employee development: it brings in people who want to better themselves. This might sound like an obvious statement, but there’s a world of difference between employees who have the humility and the drive to make themselves better at something and those that don’t. Self-reflective employees are better able to deal with conflict, learn on the job and see things from the perspective of the business as well as themselves.
As the digital age continues to unfold, the importance of people will continue to increase. Wages all around the world are on the rise, thanks to millions of people being lifted out of poverty. And it’s creating an economy where people are more valuable than ever before. Despite all of the doom and gloom in the job market right now in this post-recession world, things are going to change a lot over the next decade. Business owners will have to compete more than ever before to attract competent employees, and those who are competent will receive handsome rewards.