Employee training: what’s in it for management?

Post by
Max Korpinen
Employee training: what’s in it for management?

Training initiatives are sometimes very costly, so why bother? What are the benefits? It is difficult to justify spending a lot of money on something if we don’t know why. Let’s dig into a couple of the main research findings on the topic. Why should employers offer training for their employees?

Training improves job satisfaction

One of the most commonly researched organizational outcomes is job satisfaction of employees. A lot of research has been done on it and it is easy to conclude that offering training opportunities indeed improves the employees’ job satisfaction. That feels like common sense if you think about it. Everybody feels good and empowered when they get better at something!

However, don’t think that just any training would do. A key is to plan training initiatives together with your employees so that they feel that what is offered is relevant and meaningful. When employees are given the chance to suggest training that they themselves see as being important, they'll be much more invested in it and they'll get much more out of it.

When employees are satisfied with the offered training opportunities, they’ll in turn be more satisfied working for you. That’s when you’re off to a good start.

When employees' skills improve, your company improves

Another no-brainer is, that when your employees improve their skills, they get better at what they do. And when everyone gets better, your company will improve as a whole.

Often, however, the training budgets are a bit skewed. For some reason, management usually gets to spend way more money on skill improvement than employees. If you think how many employees you have for every executive, it really doesn’t add up.

If you’re known for bad customer service, a weekend retreat for the executive team won’t improve your numbers - supporting your customer service team in skill improvement will!

When employees feel they're growing, they don't want to leave

Job satisfaction and job performance are not the only things that get a boost when you spend money on relevant and meaningful employee training.

Turnover intentions is another metric that is very relevant to managers and HR teams, and training has been shown to have a positive impact on that as well.

When your employees feel that they are growing when working for you, they’re not in such a rush to look for opportunities elsewhere. This is where you also save on recruitment costs that would occur from people leaving!

It’s simply the right thing to do

This is a brief, personal story, but it demonstrates the importance of training perfectly. 

One of the first part-time jobs I held was an assistant job in an HR consulting company. That’s also where I worked for the best boss I’ve ever had. On my first day, the first thing he said to me was that “it is my number one goal that when you eventually leave this company, you’ve learned as much as possible so that you’ll have a great career ahead of you”.

It seems like such a simple thing to say, but ever since that day, I’ve praised the said boss and company whenever I’ve discussed employers with anyone. When an employer makes an honest commitment like that, it is a really powerful message to all the employees that you care about them. Nobody stays in a company forever, but it is your responsibility to take care of them while they do stay. When the employees have a feeling that you care, they’ll go the extra mile for you.

References

Hanaysha, J., & Tahir, P. R. (2016). Examining the effects of employee empowerment, teamwork, and employee training on job satisfaction. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 219, 272-282.

Jaworski, C., Ravichandran, S., Karpinski, A. C., & Singh, S. (2018). The effects of training satisfaction, employee benefits, and incentives on part-time employees’ commitment. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 74, 1-12.

Huang, W. R., & Su, C. H. (2016). The mediating role of job satisfaction in the relationship between job training satisfaction and turnover intentions. Industrial and Commercial Training.