I applaud the Wall Street Journal’s recent article, “Why Companies Aren’t Getting the Employees They Need” by Peter Cappelli (October 24). As Cappelli aptly points out, “To get America’s job engine revving again, companies need to stop pinning so much of the blame on our nation’s education system. They need to drop the idea of finding perfect candidates and look for people who could do the job with a bit of training and practice.”
I couldn’t agree more. Employee development and training improves the performance of both the individual and the company. Faced with limited resources, tighter budgets and a shrinking workforce, organizations need to make professional development a priority. Through corporate learning, there is a real opportunity to re-skill our workers, help them do their jobs better and improve business performance. Training is a win-win for employees and companies alike. Since turnover is costly to organizations, supporting professional development can lead to increased employee retention. Employee departures cost a company time, money, and other resources. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, direct replacement costs can reach as high as 50%-60% of an employee’s annual salary, with total costs associated with turnover ranging from 90% to 200% of annual salary. And the benefits of training don’t end there.
I challenge companies to look at another real benefit of corporate learning, the impact on business (IOB). There is a direct correlation between training and business results. Maximizing workforce potential can boost overall profit levels as trained employees master new skills and take on greater responsibility. If companies would step back and see training as an investment – a way of attaining their business goals by improving performance and efficiency – they would quickly realize its advantages.
Upgrading employee skills is a strategic business decision. Training is the best pathway to attract and retain skilled employees positioned to help companies succeed. Simply put, employee learning programs built with a focus on IOB ensure that employee behavior benefits the business. When executives can measure improved performance and meet their goals and objectives through training, they experience the real value of investing in employee training.