“Organizations with strong learning cultures exhibit better overall organizational performance in the areas of employee engagement, customer satisfaction, overall productivity, and overall leadership performance compared to organizations with weak learning cultures.” – The Conference Board of Canada
Many organizations view training as costly and time consuming, but there is solid evidence to show that nurturing a culture of learning and investing in effective training has tangible business benefits. According to a Payscale.com report, “companies that encourage and value learning are healthier, more stable, and smarter than those that don’t.”
A commitment to learning means ongoing improvement
Investing in skills training, implementing effective onboarding training for new staff, and focusing on continued learning is a commitment to ongoing improvement. This ensures that your organization is keeping up with rapid market changes, is adaptable, and “can support faster ‘to market’ time” (Payscale.com). Rather than getting left behind (which can be costly), you’re positioned to continuously improve your performance and better support your clients, customers, and staff. These are all clear business benefits.
A commitment to learning means better employee retention
A commitment to learning is also a very valuable employee engagement and retention tool. It shows that you’re willing to invest in your employees, provides incentives for them to stay with your organization, plugs skills gaps, and helps you retain intellectual property and institutional knowledge. As Psychometrics Canada says, people are an “appreciating asset;” therefore, retaining employees is vital to long-term success.
Replacing employees also has both direct and indirect costs. If we talk numbers, “replacing a mid-level employee can cost 20 percent of their annual salary, meaning a $60,000 per year manager can cost about $12,000 to replace. Meanwhile, replacing a high-level employee, with large salaries and specialized training, can cost up to 213 percent of their salary. This puts the direct cost of replacing a $100,000 per year C-Suite Executive at up to $213,000” (Psychometrics Canada).
The indirect costs can include a loss of knowledge, productivity, and even a loss of morale among remaining employees. Offering training helps employees feel their contributions are valued and that there’s a possibility for career advancement - both of which are vital for employee retention. Studies have also shown that millennials, in particular, look for development opportunities when job hunting, so offering a culture of learning can also help attract the talent you need to move your organization forward.
While in some cases the immediate ROI of offering learning opportunities may not be as obvious as employee retention numbers, investing in your human ‘assets’ equals positive, long-term impacts on your organization and your bottom line.
Learn more about how effective evaluation of learning can help identify long-term impact and ROI in this related article.