How to Make an Employee Training Program Profitable

In today’s competitive business world, having a well-developed employee training program can help set your business apart.

Business Case

Beyond a doubt, employee training programs are critical for every sized business.  They can help in all aspects of the company and have a positive impact on the bottom line.

Recruiting.  Companies who can demonstrate a functioning training program to potential candidates often receive better quality applicants.  In many cases, the existence of a training program has often been one of the determining factors in job acceptance.

Speed up new employee productivity.  The sooner you can train a new employee, the sooner they will be able to start generating you revenue.  Having a clearly laid onboarding program will help a new employee gain productivity faster.

Employee retention.  On exit surveys, many employees leave their existing company because of a lack of growth opportunity.  The last thing you want is your high performing employees to feel stifled.  By continually providing training opportunities, you have a better chance at retaining these important members of your team.

Uncover efficiencies.  Technology and industries are making improvements every day.  There are always new opportunities and ideas on how to handle every aspect of your company.  Taking the time to explore these opportunities can lead to efficiencies and savings.

Continual process improvements.  Undoubtedly, as work progresses, employees will find different ways to handle the same jobs.  Some methods may be useful to share with everyone and improve performance overall.  Without having a training program to evaluate, share and unify these methods, they may be at a loss and you will lose a valuable opportunity to grow your business.

Explore new revenue outlets.  Training is an opportunity to extend your revenue pool.  Depending on the situation, it may give you new ideas and opportunities for your product and expose your company to others you might not have met otherwise.  There’s nothing better at opening doors to new leads than having a shared experience together.

Key Components to an Effective Training Program

In order for your employee training program to be effective, it should contain a few key components:

Assessment of need

Before you begin any training program, you should make the effort to assess where your employees are at and what do they need.  This type of assessment should occur annually as you plan out your budget for training for the year.  Without proper targeting, you may not be spending time, money, and effort in the most valuable places.

Structured and unstructured

An unstructured training program is normally what happens through coaching, mentoring, and shadowing.  Structured training is more formal with trainers and external input.  A balanced training program should have both structured and unstructured portions.

Tracking

Training needs to be recorded and documented with clear objectives.  While this can be somewhat of an administrative overhead, it will make it easier to track and save potential retraining costs in the future.  One of the best ways to track training is to tie it into your yearly employee evaluations.

Measureable goals and objectives

Any good training program should have a measurable component to help evaluate the effectiveness of the training.  Without clear goals and objectives, it will be difficult to evaluate the usefulness of the training.

Regularly schedule training

If you schedule training into your regular routine, it will become a natural and part of the company culture.  In addition, it will be less likely to be forgotten or dismissed.

Training for all… including YOU

Often times business owners forget to spend time training themselves.  It is important that you as the leader of your organization continue to grow as well.

Employee training cost saving ideas

The cost of training obviously varies depending upon what type and where, however, these days there are many opportunities to receive training that are both cost and time effective.  Here are some options to consider:

  • Participate online.  Because of the rising cost of travel, many programs now offer an online component or are conducted completely online.  While it doesn’t replace human interaction, it can be a more cost-effective means to get some training in.  With online training, however, the value earned may be less than what may have been achieved in live person.
  • Cross-train internally.  Many times people within your organization have skills that others do not.  Take that opportunity to allow your employees to do formal training sessions.  It not only cuts down on the cost but also promotes teamwork and personal development.
  • Free local opportunities.  If you’re part of any local Chamber of Commerce, chances are they are conducting free or low cost training on a variety of topics.  Participating in these can be a great opportunity to meet other local business owners and open new opportunities for growth in your business.
  • Share the cost.  Often times, trainers are willing to come in and train a group of people at the same time.  This is a great opportunity to get training done for your whole organization at once.  If you’re not a very large company, you can also use that opportunity to partner with another local company and perhaps the two (or more) of you can share the expense.

Spending the time, money and effort on Employee Training Programs just makes good business sense.  Coupled with a system like our Virtual Human Resource Database component of the Paperless Office, you can gain the most out of your training program.  If you need assistance, give us a call or email us at the OI Group of Companies and we will be happy to work with you on to accomplish an effective employee training program.