In knowledge-driven economies, the competitive advantage of corporations has come to solely depend on the skills and enterprise of its people. Employees are a company’s strongest competitive advantage – with organisations taking this insight more seriously than ever before, there is an increasing recognition of the fact that in today’s environment, a constant and regular effort to evolve competencies of a workforce is essential to maintain the health, and often the very sanity, of the organization.
While in theory, this seems obvious, the truth is that not too many companies invest the required time and resources to help their employees achieve developmental goals, especially during work hours. However, ‘up-skilling’ employees broadens their horizons and enriches their contributions in their personal and professional spheres – as a result of these efforts, the organisation is often a direct beneficiary at many levels.
Corporates like VFS Global have taken this idea one step further, setting up a dedicated learning centre for corporates in Mumbai, the first within city limits. The Learning Galaxy is, in many ways, a first-of-its-kind facility that aims to fulfill development and training needs of organisations, and is located in Mumbai’s Lower Parel, one of the nerve centres of business in the city. Unlike 5-star banquet halls that often ‘double up’ as training rooms, this facility is conceptualised as a pure learning and training centre – a vibrant ‘fishbowl’ for the incubation of ideas and rich community discussions, with all the infrastructure, technical resources and practical tools required to facilitate a broad spectrum of learning projects.
Why employee training is worth the investment
Staff training is essential for specific purposes related to your business. Incorporating training that develops employees toward long-term career goals promotes greater job satisfaction. A more satisfied employee is likely to stay longer and be more productive while on the job.
Surveys conducted in the recent years, indicate that 40 per cent of employees who do not receive adequate training leave their positions within the first year, citing lack of skills training and development as the principal reason for moving on.
Although the initial investment seems high, staff training always pays back that investment. Some of the important reasons to take on development initiatives include:
Competitive advantage over other companies - Competition for talent is growing. Offering an employee development programme is a good way to attract candidates to your organization rather than to those of your competitors.
Increased loyalty - When a company invests in employee training and development, employees feel valued and appreciated. This makes them more loyal, and the more loyal your employees are, the more likely they are to both stay and to refer skilled friends and colleagues to work at the company. Plus, loyal employees are more engaged and motivated and require less supervision
Decreased turnover - Employee replacement can cost a company between six and nine months of the departed employee’s salary. Aside from the direct financial losses, a high turnover rate also affects the company’s market position, profitability, and revenue. By training employees and investing in their career development, you can make them feel valued by your organization. This will lead to longer employee tenures and less turnover
Flexibility in the market - Training and development programs can make a company more flexible in the market. When your employees are well trained, they are better able to respond to changes in the market, which ensures company success in the long term
It’s important to note that having an employee-training program only for the sake of ‘checking a box’ is a waste of time and money. Training and development are only good investments if they are effective and engaging.
While an employee training programme will surely bring great return on investment, it alone is not enough for the company’s success in the long run. To drive company success and conquer new markets, it is extremely important to make sure that employees receive not only training, but also plenty of appreciation – a foregone conclusion with the right training.