Training and development for employees can often be seen as expensive or time consuming and be bumped down a list of priorities. But if it’s done well it can provide a significant return on investment, whilst building both the trainee and the business.
You may ask – “But what happens if I train them and they leave?”. Whilst this is a genuine concern which we will go on to address, you’d also want to ask yourself – “What if I don’t train them and they stay?”.
Research* revealed last year found that unproductive employees are costing British businesses around £22 billion annually. Boredom was listed as a top five distraction. So whilst training and development might seem like a costly “nice to have” for your business, we would argue that it plays an essential role in any successful people management strategy.
Sir Richard Branson summarised this nicely when he famously said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to”.
If you are about to embark on a training and development plan for your employees there are a few things we think you should consider before you get started.
Define learning needs
At one time or another it’s quite possible you will encounter an eager employee who is asking you to send them on a super-duper week-long course to better their abilities. Whilst their enthusiasm should be well received, you’ll want to retain control over the types of training and development that you provide. And that your business will benefit from them.
Looking forward, and identifying the skills gap within your organisation, personal development plans can be drawn up as part of the annual appraisal process.
Protect your investment
Whilst it’s the individual or team who receive the training through a learning and development plan, the ultimate goal is to retain this knowledge within your business so that you can measure the ROI. Some courses that give recognised qualifications are extremely expensive. You do not want to pay out, only for the employee to take the new qualifications to a competitor six months later.
Having a study assistance clause in an employee contract and a signed agreement in place will protect your investment should an employee leave sooner than expected. These set out that the financial assistance covering the course is to be considered as a loan which is written off over a period of time. For example, if the employee leaves within a year then 50% will be repayable. A study assistance policy can set out your expectations regarding time off for study days, examinations and what will happen should they fail.
Aligning a training and development plan with your business objectives can seem like a laborious task. Let us bring to life the benefits and make it enjoyable for you and your employees.