With very few exceptions, COVID-19 has rocked every enterprise in every vertical. The global economy is looking rocky; consumers and businesses have closed their wallets and trimmed their budgets; and employees are distracted by concerns about layoffs and infection.
In such a stormy business environment, C-suite executives around the globe are looking for ways to stabilize their business and protect their bottom line. Right now, employee training programs are probably the last thing on your mind, but employee training brings benefits that go far beyond onboarding.
The right employee training programs can directly impact on your profitability and strengthen your business position. 96% of talent professionals agree that employee experience is crucial for business today, and there are many good reasons for prioritizing employee training.
If you’re still unsure whether employee training is worth the money during such chaotic times, these 5 reasons might change your mind.
1. Experienced employees are the backbone of your business
The longer someone has been with your company, the deeper their understanding of your business and your product. You simply can’t replace that kind of inside knowledge.
Experienced employees help guide new hires, shape business culture, and stabilize the organization. Once you add up the expense of advertising, recruiting, and onboarding new talent, you’ll have spent far more than the cost of your employee training programs.
Data confirms that employees stay longer when they feel that their employers care about their personal and professional development. Organizations that invest in employee career growth through excellent training programs see 56% lower attrition rates, especially among top talent who will move on if they can’t find new challenges within your company.
2. Innovation keeps your business competitive
Chaotic times breed innovation and competition. Those enterprises that thrive through the pandemic will be the ones that can innovate successfully to meet new market opportunities and adapt quickly to new conditions. Staying still means moving backwards in today’s business world.
COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation, widening the skills gaps that prevent enterprises from remaining competitive in a newly digital environment. At the same time, there’s a general lack of data science talent, so it’s not always possible to hire for empty positions.
Effective employee training programs help drive innovation in a number of ways. Targeted training programs develop the skills you need to drive change and innovation, and can correct the lack of qualified new talent. They help you map out the strengths and weaknesses within your workforce, so you can quickly bridge the skills gap before it becomes a chasm.
Additionally, when employees feel supported at work they’re much more likely to speak up with ideas for new practices or products, without worrying about being shamed if the ideas are not adopted.
3. Committed employees are more productive
Employee training programs provide workers with a better understanding of their responsibilities and tasks, making them more productive. On top of that, engaged employees are far more productive than those who are only lukewarm, at best, about the organization.
Simply working for a paycheck isn’t enough to drive people to bring their best to their work today. Company culture programs make employees feel enthusiastic about furthering the grand business vision, rather than an insignificant cog in a corporate machine. Employees who feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves and are contributing to a more positive society are inspired to work harder.
Additionally, employees who feel secure in their role in a warm and supportive corporate culture are likely to feel confident enough to stretch themselves by trying something new or taking on an extra responsibility, further strengthening your business.
4. Caring for employees boosts your brand reputation
No matter what your product or service, you’re never alone in your niche. Your competition is close, and they are always trying to take over more of your market share. Pricing and product quality play their part in driving sales, but consumers and business buyers alike increasingly pay attention to your business values and ethics,
The COVID-19 pandemic threw a spotlight on the ways that enterprises treat their employees, with shoppers sharing blacklists of companies that put money over morals when times got tough. Even when there isn’t a pandemic, buyers pay attention to the way that employees speak about their employers, feeling that they are the most trustworthy voices about what organizations are really like.
When your employees feel appreciated and valued through training programs and corporate culture activities, they mention it on social media and in conversation with friends and family, boosting your brand reputation among the general public.
5. Strengthening employees boosts customer retention
Consumers are demanding about customer service. Expectations are high and patience is low, with 32% of consumers saying they’ll leave a brand they love after just one bad experience. During a pandemic, when stresses and anxieties are high, people’s emotional bandwidth is even shorter. No one is willing to cope with unreliable or unpredictable service.
There are many ways to improve the customer service your employees offer, but ultimately it comes down to each individual employee. Training programs and bonding activities give individual employees a sense of responsibility for your business’ overall reputation, and enhance their desire to present your company in the best possible light. Engaged employees are happy employees, and that spills over into the care and attention they display to your customers.
Strong businesses have strong employee training programs
Currently, enterprises are highly concerned with ensuring their business’ survival, recovery, and ability to thrive in an extremely uncertain business environment. By helping to retain experienced employees, drive innovation, and raise customer loyalty, brand reputation, and productivity through increased employee engagement, employee training programs should top the list of business strategies into 2021.