4 Signs You Need a Better Training Process
Posted inLearning & Development
onMarch 25th, 2019
- Updated onMarch 26, 2019 - 11:47am
It’s an employee’s market. With the U.S. unemployment rate idling around 4 percent, businesses are fighting to retain quality employees. From flexible schedules to unlimited PTO, organizations are going to great lengths to keep their staff happy and motivated.
Amidst all these employee satisfaction initiatives is a strategy that helps retain staff while also perpetuating organizational goals and an improved bottom line -- better employee training.
Stacey Force of ManpowerGroup stated that,
“65 percent of employees expect to receive career guidance from their managers and other leaders.”
Ironically, an astounding 67.4 percent of individuals are dissatisfied with their employer’s educational and job training programs according to a 2018 job satisfaction study from the Conference Board. (See chart above).
The benefits of an improved employee training process extend beyond employee retention. Organizations that invest in training their employees can see:
- More consistent quality
- Increased employee commitment and motivation
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Elevated production levels
By making a concerted effort to assess and iterate your employee training process, you can invest in the future of your organization and staff. Here are four signs that it’s time to revamp your employee training process.
1. You Have High Employee Turnover
It’s estimated that 71 percent of Americans are looking for new jobs while employed. If you’re noticing elevated staff turnover for one or more positions, it could mean a gap in your training process. While there are many reasons employees leave an organization, a lack of formal training can certainly be one of the underlying factors.
In fact, according to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report, 93 percent of employees would stay with an organization longer if it were to invest in the employee’s future.
Below are three benefits of employee training and development for staff retention:
- Helps successfully onboard new hires: Employee training and onboarding processes can help new hires quickly acclimate to the company and the role. Structured training can be used to define expectations clearly and ensure new employees hit the ground running.
- Fosters organizational commitment and overall performance: Employee training and development can strengthen individual, team, and organizational performance, especially when aligned to strategic goals. It’s also an important strategy to break down silos, build strong cultures, and foster a sense of community.
- Engages and motivates employees: Training offers an excellent catalyst for motivating and engaging employees. If your employees seem disengaged, it could indicate a need to reevaluate your training process, including opportunities to develop critical skills to stay current and advance. Engaging employees is especially important for retaining the largest active workforce generation -- millennials.
2. Your Employee Training Process is Outdated or Non-Existent
A clear sign that you need to invest in your employee training process is if it’s outdated or non-existent. A study from Axonify found that 32 percent of retail employees never received any formal training. This lack of formal training might explain why the retail industry has the second highest employee turnover rate of all industries at 13 percent, behind only the technology industry’s 13.2 percent.
It’s no longer viable for businesses to expect employees to pursue continued learning outside the organization -- it needs to be provided by the company and incorporated into the organizational culture.
This is a sentiment shared by organizations throughout the country, as businesses continue to invest heavily in their employee training. While overall employee training budget decreased by 6 percent from 2017 to 2018, there was a huge increase in one area of employee training -- employee training technology and learning tools which saw an annual spend increase of 73 percent.
Software solutions like Learning Management Systems (LMS) offer businesses an affordable resource to streamline the organization and distribution of employee training material. Investing in LMS software lets businesses produce and control their learning material in a centralized platform with user-friendly dashboards and interfaces. From management training videos to task-oriented tutorials, businesses can use technological solutions to increase their training efficiencies.
3. You Struggle to Develop Internal Talent and Leaders
If your organization has a hard time cultivating leaders and promoting from within, poor employee training and development could be the cause. A 2017 study from AJO on the State of Leadership Development in Small and Mid-sized Businesses found that identifying talent and developing leadership and management skills are the top priorities among the organizations surveyed.
With talent assessment and internal development as the top priorities of SMBs, it implies an inherent gap in those areas currently. That assertion is further supported by the same study above, as 61 percent of respondents said their organization had unsophisticated or somewhat unsophisticated strategies for talent development.
Recognizing the need to invest in employee development is a critical step in the right direction, but it also requires managerial follow-through and employee buy-in to recognize results.
According to Erik Bergman, founder of the non-profit Great,
“Transparency is the best way to get employees and managers to buy into change. We practice radical transparency and do not shy from tough conversations -- as a result, our team understands their strengths and weaknesses, and how they align with our organizational goals.”
4. Your Employees Deliver Inconsistent Quality
Employee training is a great way for organizations to maintain quality assurance and ensure consistency across their organization. If you’re noticing inconsistent quality or are receiving client complaints, it could indicate a need for better employee training.
The traditional threshold for organizational control was outlined in the hiring process by mandating specific educational or experience requirements. Unfortunately, in today’s workforce, there is little assurance in the knowledge or skills acquired through previous education or work experience.
In fact, as the four-year degree continues to saturate and more individuals forego the expense of college for supplemental courses online, specialized certifications, and real-world experiences, the future of hiring may look much different than it does today. Ultimately, we may see a shift in how HR departments approach vetting candidates -- placing more emphasis on subsequent trainings, onboarding material, and practical tests.
Therefore, employers cannot base their quality assurance on the past experiences or education of their employees alone. Organizations need to take accountability and implement continued learning and education to ensure that the quality of service and/or products align with internal and external standards and best practices.
Why You Need a Better Employee Training Process
The benefits of an improved employee training cannot be overstated -- especially as it relates to your organization’s bottom line. According to a 2016 study from SHRM, the average cost-per-hire for an organization is $4,129 with an average time of 42 days to fill an open position.
Need more ammunition? Check out the "Cost of Turnover" tool created by The Economic Opportunities Program (part of the Aspen Institute). Use it to assess the direct and indirect costs of employee turnover and build the business case for investing in employee training and development.
Between the direct expenses and production downtime, organizations can ill afford to experience high turnover if they want to succeed.
Prioritizing a better employee training process will not just help retain quality staff, but it’ll help you motivate your employees, develop leadership and other critical skills, foster an empowered company culture, and strengthen your bottom line results.
Christine Soeun Choi is a digital marketing associate at Fit Small Business. Currently based in NYC, she has a background in business studies and math with a passion for business development. Outside of work, Christine enjoys taking photos, exploring artwork, and traveling.