Training and Development Leads to Higher Productivity and RetentionBy: Gregory P. Smith
Usually, the first thing out the window during an economic downturn is training and development. True during recent times as well. . .most companies have cut back on sending people to conferences and looked hard at cutting other expenses. Leading edge companies are still continuing to invest in training and development and will come out far ahead of those other businesses whose only management strategy is to cut, slash and burn.
Training, education and degree completion programs have become one of the most desired employee benefits available. Among younger job seekers, the opportunity to learn new skills is the number one benefit.
Gen. X and Gen. Y workforce view training and development as critical. They value the opportunity to advance and make more money. They also want to make a bigger contribution and have a fear of failing or falling behind in a competitive world.
Satisfying this desire with training accomplishes personal and organizational goals. Well-trained employees are more capable and willing to assume more control over their jobs. They need less supervision, which frees management for other tasks. Employees are more capable to answer the questions of customers, which builds better customer loyalty. Employees who understand the business complain less, are more satisfied, and are more motivated. All this leads to better management-employee relationships.
Last year the American Management Association (AMA) survey of 352 HR executives confirmed that certain enhancement issues were of top importance to employees and improved retention. “Investing in employees’ future is more important than immediate compensation,” said Eric Rolfe Greenberg, AMA’s director of management studies. “Programs that improve work skills and future career development are seen as particularly effective.” The AMA survey identified the following skill enhancement techniques and the percentage of companies employing them as a retention strategy:
Sgt. White had taken my advice and gone to college. Now the Army was promoting him, and my interest in his future had made such an impact on him that he wanted me to come to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina to pin on his new rank. This was a great honor. I’ve never forgotten what he told me: “Sir, you were the only officer who took the time to help. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me.”
© Copyright 2001 Gregory P. Smith
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