As a development manager, you have a lot to think about. Not only are you required to report to senior management, but you also have to oversee individual development teams to ensure they’re performing up to the organization’s standards. Unfortunately, many managers get so caught up in completing tasks that they forget to focus on growing their employees. This ultimately means employee training – which should be a mainstay in every organization – takes a backseat.
Employee Training Deserves More Attention
Do you ever spend time thinking about what exactly you hope to get out of each of your employees? If you mull over this idea, you’ll ultimately come to the conclusion that you want your workforce to be skilled, knowledgeable, and capable of handling any situation.
When you break skills and knowledge down into categories, there are two distinct groups: innate knowledge and acquired knowledge. While each employee has certain skills and understanding, the majority of what they know will be acquired.
Much of the acquired knowledge your employees gain will happen on the job. In other words, they’ll learn how to approach certain situations by mentally taking notes from what does and does not work. However, on the job training doesn’t always properly equip an employee to handle everything you want them to do.
Acquired knowledge can also come from formal education and training. And because your employees aren’t going to voluntarily invest in training on their own, you need to make it a priority.
5 Reasons to Invest in Employee Training
In order to better understand employee training and why exactly it needs to be an integral component of your strategy, let’s take a look at the top reasons why dev managers – like yourself – are investing in it.
1. More Passion and Engagement
Believe it or not, employee training directly correlates to increased passion and engagement. The reason is that employees who are skilled at what they’re doing are more likely to feel like they belong.
“You have to give people the tools to do their job;” says Lief Davisson, an information systems supervisor for a company that serves more than 20,000 members, “allow for training now or pay for it when you really need it.”
You can also think about it from the flip side. How do you think employees feel when they aren’t qualified to be doing the tasks they’re assigned? They feel inadequate and discouraged. This is the opposite of being passionate and engaged. Focus on employee training and you can expect morale to be higher.
2. Higher Retention and Less Turnover
Did you know that it costs, on average, somewhere between 16 and 20 percent of annual salary to replace an employee? In other words, if your company is paying someone $40,000 per year, it could cost as much as $8,000 to replace them.
Why does this matter? Well consider that when passion and engagement are higher, so is your retention rate. Keeping employees up to date on information, practices, and skills will reduce turnover and save your company lots of money in the long run.
3. Increased Productivity and Output
Employee training leads to increased productivity and output across the board. The reason is that highly trained employees are able to do their jobs much better, and typically much quicker. When you compound this across dozens or hundreds of employees, the results can mean thousands of dollars in additional profit.
4. Less Overall Liability
Having untrained or unskilled employees on staff is not only unprofitable, but it’s also very dangerous. These employees increase your liability and can ultimately come back to harm your brand’s image. This is something you should think about when hiring, but something that also needs to be considered when it comes to training.
5. Ability to Charge a Premium
When your employees are more highly trained than the competition, you’re able to produce better quality services. Over time, this differentiating factor will become obvious, allowing you to charge a premium and enjoy better profit margins.
Eventually, your ability to charge higher premiums will mean you can afford better talent. So, you’re essentially elevating the future status of the business by investing in upfront training and education. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Make Training a Bigger Priority
As you can see, training is critically important for both the long and short-term development of your employees. While there are a number of different ways to train your employees — and each manager will pursue a unique approach based on a number of company and employee-specific factors — you ultimately can’t overlook this important aspect.
Keep the aforementioned reasons in mind as you seek to mold your employees into skilled and knowledgeable workers who are capable of handling any task you toss their way. The business will benefit on many fronts.