6 Reasons You Need to Invest in Employee Training and Onboarding

Rachel Alexander
Rachel Alexander
4 mins

Investing in employee training can seem like a daunting task. Developing a successful onboarding program takes time, research, and resources. And the work isn’t done once you’ve ramped up your new hires– you’ve still got to think about ongoing training. 

Your employees want to see that you’re investing in their career by offering them ongoing training opportunities. In fact, a whopping 94 percent of employees say that they would stay at a company longer if that company invested in their career, according to a LinkedIn workplace study.

The benefits of employee training far outweigh the initial cost of time and resources. When you don’t invest in employee training, you’re more likely to end up with unhappy employees, low levels of productivity, unsatisfied customers, and a lot of wasted time and money. 

Let’s take a closer look at six consequences of inadequate training and onboarding in the workplace.

Why Is Training Important in the Workplace? It Combats These 6 Problems

1. Increased Employee Turnover

37 percent of employees say that they would leave their current employer if they weren’t offered opportunities to learn new skills. And no one can afford to lose 1 out of every 3 employees.

If you expect employees to give 110 percent in everything they do on the job, your organization must offer an attractive incentive in return to keep the interest of top talent. Typically, this incentive is career advancement and the opportunity to grow within your organization. Without proper training, your employees will struggle to excel in their current role, let alone envision themselves on the leadership track. 

If you don’t invest in employee training, they won’t hesitate to jump ship and seek that investment elsewhere. 

2. Wasted Money

This one is simple. Retaining your current employees is vastly cheaper in money, time, and resources than hiring new ones every time an unsatisfied person leaves. Because inadequate training leads to high turnover, it also leads to increased hiring responsibility, and that isn’t cheap. 

Studies show that hiring a new employee can cost up to thirty percent of one year of that employee’s salary. With recruitment costs, time spent screening hundreds of resumes, interviewing, onboarding, purchasing new equipment, and so on, the costs of new hires really add up. 

And that doesn’t even take into account the cost of losing a former employee’s tribal knowledge. If an employee leaves and takes the knowledge they’ve gained on the job with them, their replacement will have to start from scratch and could take one to two years to become fully productive

3. Diminished Competitive Edge

When your organization cuts corners on ongoing employee training, including conferences, seminars, and other professional development opportunities, the consequences aren’t just internal. Without exposure to outside thought leaders and cutting-edge strategies, your employees will miss out on opportunities to innovate, which means your company could be missing out on opportunities to improve your products or services, deliver a better customer experience, and gain a competitive advantage.

4. Frustrated Management

Employees aren’t the only ones who suffer in an organization with inadequate management. When employees aren’t properly onboarded at the time they are hired and continuously trained throughout their role, they will not have a complete grasp of the tasks that fall within their wheelhouse, let alone any additional projects and responsibilities that fall on their plate. 

For managers, this means questions, questions, and more questions. With their time constantly consumed with repetitive questions that should be easily answered during training or easily found in one place, emails and impromptu meetings, managers spend more of their time playing catch-up and less time moving the organization forward with innovation and leadership. 

5. Unsafe Work Environments

Organizations whose work does not involve physical labor often make the mistake of believing no harm can come from a failure to invest in employee training, but this is simply not true. In addition to the risk of physical injury, lack of proper training can contribute to a poor knowledge of boundaries and office protocol put into place to make all employees feel safe and comfortable in the workplace.

6. Unhappy Customers

Poorly trained employees just can’t produce the best products or provide the best customer service. And when the quality of your product and service inevitably declines because your employees aren’t armed with the knowledge and resources they need to do their best work, you will lose customers. And worse, your customers will take their complaints to the public. Avoid those oh-so-visible negative social media reviews by getting it right the first time. 

How to Reap the Benefits of Employee Training

With the right tools in place, outstanding training and ongoing professional development opportunities don’t have to break the bank. To develop both an onboarding and an ongoing training program that prepare employees for success:

  • Ask current employees. Nobody knows better what would be helpful for a new employee than an employee who already does the job. Survey your current employees to find out what could have been improved in their own training and take their feedback seriously. 
  • Invest in a knowledge sharing platform. Not only will a knowledge sharing platform allow you to set up an online training sequence for new employees, it will also allow employees to revisit trainings again and again, as well as ask questions and share documents and videos, saving their managers and co-workers hours answering repetitive questions and emails. It will also make it easier to keep everyone current on safety and office protocol, as everyone should know that the most up-to-date documents are in the company knowledge sharing platform. 
  • Make training a part of your workplace culture. Even with the best possible onboarding process, if the only training your employees receive is when they start the job, they will begin to feel stagnant, and their work will reflect that. Offer ongoing trainings at least once a quarter, and continue to offer training on knowledge sharing platform best practices.

If you think your organization doesn’t have the resources to invest in an employee training and onboarding program, think again. The cost of cutting corners on training and not investing in the current and future success of your employees is much greater.

October 14, 2019

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