Evidence has shown that organisations that invests in effective staff training and development tend to achieve both short and long term benefits.
By MURIITHI NDEGWA
While it’s easy to view investment in employee development as a cost centre, statistics show that the benefits a company can accrue from a skilled manager are wide-reaching when considered wisely. There is indeed evidence that organisations investing in effective staff training and development tend to achieve both short and long term benefits.
Productivity and customer satisfaction
Training increases overall customer satisfaction because of professional service delivery by the staff, which can only be achieved through targeted customer service training.
Zappos – an online shoe and clothing shop based in Las Vegas, Nevada – is recognised as a legend in the customer service world. The company has an employee culture with a singularity of mind focused on customer service. Everyone that is hired – accountant, lawyer, software developer – goes through the same training as the call center reps. It is a four-week training programme and then they are actually on the phone for two weeks taking calls from customers. At the end of that first week of training, Zappos makes an offer to the entire class of payment for the time already spent training plus a bonus of USD2,000 to quit and leave the company immediately after the training. According to Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, paying new hires to leave may seem counter-intuitive, but it makes simple sense; the goal of is to weed out the people who are just there for a pay cheque.
There is an interesting empirical study by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) on 540 corporations that used two samples whereby one invested about USD900 for each employee per annum while the other invested approximately USD275. The results revealed that the group with high investment outperformed the other with 57 per cent more sales and 37 per cent higher gross profit. Besides that, the study noted that increasing training expenditure by USD680 improved shareholders value by an average of about six per cent.
Retention of productive employees is a major concern for HR professionals and business executives. HR data analytics show that it is more efficient to retain a quality employee than to recruit, train and orient a replacement employee of the same quality. Employee training is one of the few exercises most companies/businesses conduct to improve employee and business performance. Training employees empowers them to perform diligently even in tasks they doubted they could when joining the company. A good case study is Quicken Loans Inc., Michigan. The online mortgage lender’s offers its full-time employees an average of 350 hours of training every year and has a low 13 per cent full-time staff turnover rate.
Training has always been a great option for organisations to build a diversified employee base, with team members learning the ropes and company mores. But many organisations throw the training programme to the curb after they feel new employees have become well-acclimated. But this notion could not be further from the truth. Companies need to develop a consistent training programmr to allow employee growth.
Muriithi Ndegwa OGW, HSC, MKIM – KIM ExecutiveDirector /CEO