You’ve read countless articles about the importance of investing in your employees. You know that an engaged, well-skilled employee will be more productive and contribute to the overall growth of the organization. You may also know that employees who are holistically developed and evolve within an organization have a better chance of attaining long-term success. Since you know all of the basics, here are a few facts that you may not know. A strong investment in employee training and development can produce benefits to the bottom line. It can lead to a:

24% higher profit margin
218% higher income per employee
86% higher company value
21% increase in productivity
300% reduction in employee turnover
A return per dollar invested of $6.72
( Executive Training is a Must in Today’s Competitive Markets, by George “Bud” Arquilla III)

So why don’t organizations invest more in training? You’ve heard it a million times – “our employees are our most valuable asset,” but in reality they are tracked as costs. Training and development has great potential for returns but it’s also one of the first budgets to get cut when times are tough. Organizations must be committed to the long-term goal and it’s hard to connect revenue and profit back to intangible assets.

There are some companies out there that get it. “A comparison of organizations on Chief Learning Officer magazine’s 2012 Learning Elite and the 2012 100 Best Companies to Work For show some familiar names on both, including General Mills, Qualcomm, Accenture, Deloitte and NetApp” (Being an A-list Company Pays, by Keith Dunbar, Chief Learning Officer, February 2013).

These companies understand how learning and development can impact an organization’s overall performance beyond just employee engagement and retention. It’s important that learning leaders understand the goals of their organization and act as advocates for the development of their talent. Learning programs need to be aligned with the long term goals and direction of the organization.

“The single biggest predictor of a company’s ability to beat its direct competitors in its industry and the overall stock market was the amount the company spends on training its people” (Dr. Laurie Bassi, author of Good Company: Business Success in the Worthiness Era). So again, why invest in training? Yes of course, to improve employee productivity, retention and loyalty. But in the end, the bottom line is – to improve your organization’s competitive advantage.


Author: Jenny Dickey