Training motivates your team
Training and developing employees is an important way to attract workers and retain existing staff, Robertson says.
One of the key reasons people leave a job is lack of training and advancement opportunities. Investing in training keeps employees engaged and shows you care about them.
“Training makes people feel they’re growing and becoming more capable. That’s highly motivating,” Robertson says.
While it’s sometimes hard to measure the return on investment from training, a 2014 study found that worker training programs have an average 10% return. Training also led to 3 to 5% more productivity versus employees who didn’t get training, said the study, which was sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
“It’s about investing in your team—just like investing in a more productive machine,” Robertson says.
A recent BDC survey of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs found that they pay special attention to human resources management. For 85% of these leaders, training is a priority. This study is the first time BDC found that training is a critical strategy for growing businesses.
Training can fill labour gaps
Training can also help you deal with a shortage of skilled workers. You may be able to save on recruiting costs by training existing employees to fill positions. You get the added bonus of having a proven worker who already knows your company.
You can also use training to expand your pool of potential recruits. “Instead of waiting for the perfect candidate to come along, you can hire a motivated worker who is willing to be trained for a position,” Robertson says.
As well, businesses can fill labour shortages by looking to certain groups of workers who are underused by Canadian businesses, according to another SSHRC funded study. Examples include younger and older workers, immigrants, indigenous people and people with disabilities.
Offer programs for underused workers
Training can be a tool to hire underused workers. For example, you can offer apprenticeships, co-op programs and internships to train younger workers. Similarly, training older workers may keep them in your company longer.
Skilled immigrants are often underused in their field because their foreign skills and experience go unrecognized. You can offer training to help them fill any gaps in their knowledge.
You can work with indigenous employment agencies to hire and train workers. Find out about any government grants for doing so.