Some employers think of staff training as just one of the many employee benefits they can offer, but investing in the careers of your employees is much more than that. It’s about safeguarding the future of your business and equipping your staff with the skills they need to drive you forward.

For many businesses, money is tight, but staff training is one of very few employee benefits that can deliver a targeted return on your investment. Whether it’s increased productivity, improved quality of work, better customer service or reduced staff turnover, there are many potential benefits businesses can realise by putting even a small training budget in place.

Investment in training is on the rise

According to the latest research by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), two-thirds of businesses are worried they will not be able to find candidates to fill high-skilled roles. Rather than trying to hire new candidates with the skills they need externally, businesses are increasingly investing in staff training to overcome shortages in every industry from information technology to construction.

The result is that 85 percent of UK firms plan to maintain or increase their investment in staff training over the next year. That would see the annual training pot grow from the £44.2 billion that is spent currently.

Training is a highly valued employee benefit

A survey conducted by a leading recruitment website found that in today’s competitive employment market, a good employee benefits package was more important than ever before. In fact, 86 percent of the respondents admitted to being influenced by the employee benefits on offer when deciding whether to take a new role.

However, despite the clear importance of employee benefits, there was still a disconnect between what HR leaders thought staff valued and what employees really wanted. In particular, the research found that employees placed a much lower value on benefits such as office-based perks and social events than HR decision-makers had thought. Instead, the research found that professional motivators such as staff training and opportunities for promotion were highly valued, particularly among younger workers who seek personal fulfilment above all else.

The benefits of staff training

Of course, putting together an attractive employee benefits package is not just about considering what works for your team. It should also present a compelling business case. A commitment to staff training is a perk that can provide significant benefits for both parties.

For employers:

  • Increased employee performance – Undoubtedly one of the most compelling benefits for employers is having a highly skilled team who are able to perform their current duties competently and take on new responsibilities as part of their role. With highly skilled candidates few and far between, upskilling from within can fill skills gaps and boost your business’s position in the industry.
  • Improved employee engagement and morale – Survey after survey shows that the UK has an employee engagement deficit, with only around a third of people admitting to being engaged at work. An investment in training can make employees feel valued, appreciated and challenged – three factors that play a key part in levels of satisfaction and engagement at work.
  • Reduced employee turnover – If staff feel valued, invested in and are given opportunities to progress in their current roles, they’re less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere. The cost of recruitment is high, particularly in hard to fill roles. That makes strategies aimed at keeping your existing employees a much wiser investment.
  • Enhanced company reputation and profile – Having a strong and successful training strategy helps to enhance your reputation as an employer that values and wants to develop its staff. That makes it more attractive to new recruits and mid-career changes looking to improve their skills and progress in their careers.

For employees:

  • The opportunity to grow and develop – Career progression is one of the most important considerations for ambitious employees. With an investment in training, employees know they will be able to develop their skills, achieve their goals and progress their careers with their current employer.
  • A nurturing culture – A good manager is one who empowers their team to grow and learn. A commitment to training is a clear sign that the managers and the organisation as a whole really care about the progress of its employees.
  • Improved confidence and performance – There’s nothing worse as an employee than feeling that you’re not up to the job. Ongoing training can give employees the skills they need to thrive in their roles and eliminate any shortcomings they may have.

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