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The real value of employee training and development programs

There are many advantages to offering employee development and educational opportunities that make it a smart investment.

To limit high turnover rates, companies must formulate effective strategies to fuel levels of employee satisfaction. Some of the most common approaches managers take in doing so include reward, recognition and engagement programs. However, these are not the only options available to companies.

“Hiring intelligent and competent employees does not guarantee the retention of them.”

It’s a widely held belief that corporate leaders should focus on hiring people who are already highly trained and skilled. And while this is certainly an effective recruitment tactic, onboarding intelligent and competent employees does not guarantee the retention of them.

The Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report found that employee learning is one of the biggest problem areas for corporations.

“This is not only a problem of skills development, but also one of engagement,” explained Josh Bersin, an analyst for the source. “The research shows that companies with high performing learning environments rank in the top for employee engagement – demonstrating how important learning is to engaging and empowering people.”

There are many benefits to implementing employee training and educational programs that make them a convenient and cost-effective solution for companies.

Creating a culture that values growth
The best kinds of managers don’t just delegate daily tasks – they actually mentor and lead their team. By offering training and development programs to employees, corporate leaders can facilitate a work environment that promotes growth both personally and professionally.

An abundance of research has also indicated that it is important for individuals to feel like their organization cares about wellness and success – not just for the company but for the people it employs as well.

To be most effective, it is also important that these development programs are offered employees at all levels, not just new hires. Findings from a survey conducted by Towers Watson suggested that businesses “offer top performers and employees with critical skills differentiated training and development along with a well-defined road map of advancement opportunities.”

Advantages of corporate education strategies
One of the major benefits of offering educational opportunities is how flexible they are. They can be delivered in a wide range of formats, from online courses and seminars to peer-to-peer engagements and outsourced platforms. In addition, it is easy to integrate them into existing employee reward and engagement programs to encourage participation.

Watch the video above to learn more about the connection between employee training and recognition programs.

In a Huffington Post article, writer Larry Alton highlighted a number of key strategies employers can use in the creation of development programs, such as mentorship programs.

“The purpose of these programs is to keep employees engaged and to make everyone aware of where knowledge gaps exist and how they can be closed to establish a more even playing field,” he explained.

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They are also beneficial because they encourage coworker collaboration and enable employees to become better connected across different departments and divisions, which leads to a more cohesive workplace environment. Alton pointed out that to improve efficiency of these operations, company executives should let their workers choose the subject matter of training, since “nobody knows your employees better than themselves.”

Putting the topic selection in the hands of employees allows managers to provide them with the opportunity to advance their own careers in areas they are genuinely interested in. Not only can this increase their feelings of empowerment and motivation, but will also simultaneously contribute to increased participation.

Expanding development opportunities
Between the cost of replacing an employee and the loss in production that follows, businesses simply cannot afford to neglect worker retention strategization. Training and development programs offer a mutually benefiting solution that has a strong return on investment.

As Forbes Contributor Victor Lipman worded it, “Taking an honest interest in someone builds loyalty. Loyal employees are more engaged. Engaged employees are more productive.”

By creating a corporate atmosphere that promotes individual growth and career advancement opportunities, a company is essentially communicating its appreciation for the team members and, therefore, improving levels of job satisfaction.

The time, money and effort it takes to implement employee training and development programs is well worth the improved bottom line that ultimately emerges as a result. Instead of looking at these opportunities as a complicated, costly or unnecessary process, employers should see these programs as what they really are: a wise business investment in long-term sustainability and success.

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