Investing in staff training has taken a bit of a hit since the GFC and is slowly building again. It can be difficult to justify money spent on staff training, particularly in roles which are typically transient or part-time/casual positions. However, it is important to think of the risks of an untrained employee from day one of their employment. The risks could be: poor customer service, customer complaints, loss of customers, mistakes requiring rework, safety issues, interpersonal issues in the team (and so the list goes on)
Investing in soft skills does return an investment to an organisation, resulting in better customer service, better decisionmaking, less interpersonal conflict, clearer communication, higher staff engagement, better teamwork, efficiency and so-on.
Measuring a return on investment
How can you measure a return on your training dollar? Here are a few examples that may apply to your organisation
- Overall profit from increased sales, efficient use of time, less rework, increased customer satisfaction
- Survey customer satisfaction
- Survey staff satisfaction/ staff engagement
- Reduced cost of recruitment- reduced turnover
- Internal succession/promotion
How can I maximise a return on investment?
Unfortunately I still see managers and business owners who think I can perform miracles in training programmes without help from them. To ensure your staff member gains maximum benefit from the training here are a few things you can do:
- Know what you want to achieve: plan and set agreed goals from the training
- Discuss your goal with the trainee prior to training: they need to know why you have selected this training and what your expectations are
- Discuss your goal with the training provider:ensure the course is designed to meet these goals
- Ask for a report from the trainee when they return: create an expectation of “things I will do differently” as a result of the course
- Review ongoing learning and achievement of outcomes at regular intervals: remind the trainee about what they have learnt, provide opportunities to apply learning and new habits will develop