The Best Investment Your Organisation Can Make Today
“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest” - Benjamin Franklin.
Some investments are better than others. Some pay off quickly, while others take years and even decades to pay off. The investment that we’re talking about today, however, is one of the most essential - yet overlooked - investments I believe an organisation can make as they operate if they’re genuine in their pursuit of success.
If you think about it in other contexts, you can see just how essential the principle is to apply in business if you are to achieve your goals. An athlete invests in training gear and gym memberships, a builder invests in good quality tools, and an artist invests in the best quality paints and brushes to reach their full potential and realise their vision. Much like the arms and legs of the athlete, the tools of the builder or the instruments of an artist, staff members are the tools an organisation needs to be willing to invest in if it is to achieve its full potential. The reality, however, is much different when you look at business-as-usual for the majority of workplaces globally. Investments in sharpening tools are often afterthoughts, and can often be ad hoc and rushed in order to appease an overworked or stressed out workplace.
“Companies that are engaged in this concept and actively exercising it in their operations are out-performing their competitors by 202%”
According to data from the US Association for Talent Development (ATD), organisations that remain committed to offering their employees access to further training opportunities have, on average 218% higher income rates per employee than organisations without formal training programs on offer. These companies also had a reported profit margin that was 24% higher than organisations that weren’t making the investment. How? Well, data from the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce suggests that it’s all down to the increased rate in productivity that an employee offers up to their employee as both recognition of the gesture, and the results of the training they received.
70% responded that job training and development opportunities influenced their decision of whether or not to stay with that employer.
The researchers noted that there was an observed 8.6% productivity gain from the employees that had received some additional support and training from their employer. This sentiment was echoed by those employees, with two-thirds of those surveyed stating that they believe workplace training should continue throughout their career- not just in the first couple of weeks; this was regardless of their position in the organisation, suggesting that even those in executive positions would - and should - welcome the opportunity to expand their skill set. Not to get too data-heavy, but it’s worth pointing out that of 400 respondents to one employee survey that spanned three generations - baby boomers, generation X and millennials - 70% responded that job training and development opportunities influenced their decision of whether or not to stay with that employer. One more for good measure: a research project from the Middlesex University shows that of 4,300 workers interviewed, 74% said they weren’t able to achieve their full potential because of the lack of development opportunities offered by their employer. That last statistic hits me particularly hard, considering Best Practice is in the business of helping organisations achieve their full potential.
“Research shows that 40% of employees will leave their position within a year if necessary - and supplementary training - is not provided.”
One of the most important aspects to consider here is the return on investment in terms of employee retention and their productivity. Virgin’s founder, Richard Branson, once said “train people well enough so they can leave… treat them well enough, so they don’t want to,” and if there’s one quote that sums up exactly what we’re talking about here today- it’s this one. As the leader of an organisation, you shouldn’t be making the investment for cynical or selfish reasons, but if you do- there’s still all the benefits in store for you. Rather, you should welcome the opportunity to see the members of your team expand their knowledge and skills because the team as a whole benefits from putting this into practice.
One of the emerging problems in modern business is staff retention, and this is one of the most effective means to combat it. Not only do your staff members remain more productive, they’re more likely to stay with your organisation for a long period of time if you’re willing to make the investment in them. There’s a heap of psychology working away in the background here, but as humans, we have a basic desire to be accepted and welcomed, and a gesture from the organisation in the form of more training and the opportunity to exceed their current potential works wonders for the soul of a burnt-out worker.
“Researchers noted that there was an observed 8.6% productivity gain from the employees that had received some additional support and training”
Before I sign off, I’ll leave you with some food for thought in terms of the up-and-coming generation that has already entered the workforce and is soon to become managers in the world of business: 87% of millennials say that professional development and career growth opportunities are essential to them when it comes to the workplace environment. Not only that, millenials have now overtaking Gen-X as the largest generation in the workforce, so don’t underestimate the importance of this investment in your people- otherwise known as your biggest strength, and the sole reason you’re able to operate and hit your goals. So, in wrapping this up, the Dale Carnegie survey showed that companies that are engaged in this concept and actively exercising it in their operations are out-performing their competitors by 202%, so if you truly want to hit your goals and out-perform your competitors, make the investment. Influential people in business would be crawling over themselves for a 202% increase in anything, let alone their productivity compared to competitors!
The results will come to you, too, if you’re prepared to make the investment.
Thanks for your time.