Learning and development in the workplace is something that most companies need, but too few are willing to put the time and money into. Why? Companies may believe that learning takes place automatically and that knowledge just passes from one employee to the other naturally. This is not always the case. In fact, transferring skills and knowledge is more efficient when there is a formal training process in an organization.
Investing in Employee Learning Programs – the Pros and Cons
As an HR leader or team manager, you may be carefully evaluating if it’s feasible to invest in the learning of your employees, or if it’s better to just rely on the more skilled employees to do the job? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of investing in workforce learning and development programs and how they can actually save you money in the long-run.
The Cons of Training Programs
Training and development programs can be expensive, depending on the needs of the organization. Just one class can range from $100 to over $2,000 per employee, to bring in a qualified instructor to teach the class or to send an employee to a local college. Then there is the time investment, which can range from a single day to many months of learning until an employee becomes proficient.
The Pros of Employee Training
It should be obvious, but investing in a training program can be highly beneficial for your workplace. When employees are actively trained for their jobs, they tend to ramp up quickly to be more productive early on. They also tend to have consistent methods of doing things, with can impact quality assurance. Consider that each learning and development program has varying costs, but it can be minimal if you utilize online training programs combined with hands-on learning led by competent instructors. The costs of training can be absorbed by this extra productivity.
Managing the Costs of Employee Training
There are several ways to maintain and control costs associated with employee learning programs. First, hire people who already have a proven track record of the skillsets you need for your company. Next, hire in groups and also train in groups so that the costs are minimized and peer support facilitates learning faster. Lastly, hire temporary employees who receive at least a portion of their training through their staffing agency, so they are ready to tackle the tasks of their jobs sooner.
As you can see, the plusses far outweigh the negatives when it comes to employee training and development. The increase in productivity will pay for the training you’ve invested in.