Data from Training Magazine’s Annual Training Industry Report.  Small business is defined as having between 100 and 1,000 employees.

Spending on employee learning continued to be strong in 2017, according to the Association for Talent Development’s 2018 State of the Industry report, which is sponsored by American Management Association International and LinkedIn Learning.  A diverse group of 399 organizations provided data on their learning programs.  This is the sixth year in a row that has seen an increase in direct learning expenditure.  Organizations spent USD 1,296 per employee on learning in 2017.  This represents a 1.7 % increase from 2016 when the average spend per employee was USD1,273.  The number of learning hours per employee remained healthy as well, it was 34.1 in 2017, which was the same as in 2016.

The importance of training your employees – both new and experienced – really cannot be overemphasized.

So what are the benefits?

Improved employee performance – the employee who receives the necessary training is more able to perform in their job.  The training will give the employee a greater understanding of their responsibilities within their role, and in turn, build their confidence.  This confidence will enhance their overall performance and this can only benefit the company.  Employees who are competent and on top of changing industry standards help your company hold a position as a leader and strong competitor within the industry.

Improved employee satisfaction and morale – the investment in training that a company makes shows employees that they are valued.  The training creates a supportive workplace. Employees may gain access to the training they wouldn’t have otherwise known about or sought out themselves.  Employees who feel appreciated and challenged through training opportunities may feel more satisfaction toward their jobs.

Addressing weaknesses – Most employees will have some weaknesses in their workplace skills.  A training program allows you to strengthen those skills that each employee needs to improve. A development program brings all employees to a higher level so they all have similar skills and knowledge.  This helps reduce any weak links within the company who rely heavily on others to complete basic work tasks.

Consistency – A robust training and development program ensures that employees have a consistent experience and background knowledge.  The consistency is particularly relevant for the company’s basic policies and procedures.  All employees need to be aware of the expectations and
procedures within the company.  Increased efficiencies in processes result in financial gain for the company.

Increased productivity and adherence to quality standards – Productivity usually increases when a company implements training courses.  Increased efficiency in processes will ensure project success which in turn will improve the company turnover and potential market share.

Increased innovation in new strategies and products – Ongoing training and upskilling of the workforce can encourage creativity.  New ideas can be formed as a direct result of training and development.

Reduced employee turnover – staff are more likely to feel valued if they are invested in and therefore, less likely to change employers.  Training and development are seen as additional company benefits.  Recruitment costs, therefore, go down due to staff retention.

Enhances company reputation and profile – Having a strong and successful training strategy helps to develop your employer brand and make your company a prime consideration for graduates and mid-career changes.  Training also makes a company more attractive to potential new recruits who seek to improve their skills and the opportunities associated with those new skills.

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