The training budget is often one of the the first things impacted when cost-saving becomes a necessary exercise, which is the reality for the large majority of businesses at the moment. But should the training budget be the first thing to go? A recent article by Gallup suggests otherwise.
Full disclosure - as a company that specialises in workplace training, of course we want to say that training your employees remains critical! But hear me out - the evidence suggests that right now, training your employees could be more important than ever, for a number of reasons:
According to Gallup, organisations that have made a strategic investment in employee development report 11% greater profitability. And it's not rocket science: up-skilling your people has to be a plus (there really is no down-side to have a higher skilled workforce). But right now this is even more critical. Why? Workers around the globe, from the most senior to the most junior, have been flung into a totally different (and for most of us) new way of working which requires a very different skills set. Training your people on how to cope with the ongoing changes, stressors and challenges they face will help them to remain as productive as possible in very challenging circumstances.
Gallup also found organisations that invested in employee development are twice as likely to retain their employees. Employee retention at a time like this is invaluable. This is not the time to lose top talent, knowledge and experience, especially as recruitment has become that bit trickier in a remote world. Providing ongoing training and development also demonstrates to your workers that you care, that they remain important to you, that they are worth investing in, especially at a time like this. And when the world is in a state of flux, this is an incredibly powerful message.
3. A sense of normality
Offering ongoing training and development can help to provide a sense of normality whilst people are isolated and working from home. It's also an opportunity for people to connect with their colleagues in a different, more relaxed way and helps to give a sense of future. At a time when many are worried about the future, something as simple as attending a training session can help to alleviate some of that anxiety, a message which should not be underestimated.
4. Mental Wellbeing
This leads me onto wellbeing. If people feel that they have been given the skills to be more productive in a remote world, that their employer has shown they care and there is a sense of normality and security, that will help to support wellbeing. We have seen a large increase in demand for our mental health training products so we understand just how important wellbeing is to employers around the world.
So a simple message to all organisations out there - think twice before cutting the training budget; maintaining training and development programmes at a time like this really could pay dividends.
Here at byrne.dean we have been running online training courses to help employers overcome the hurdles that COVID-10 has placed on many organisations. If you would like to find out more about our training sessions (such as Leading through Uncertainty, Thriving Remotely and Building Resilience) please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When cost-cutting becomes the new normal, training and development are likely added to the list of things to downsize. That's a mistake.