Updated: Apr 23
In my many years of working with service techs, I heard one common theme which is "I have never really got the proper training, and I don't know what success looks like in this field." Most managers or owners don't have the time to pat you on the back and say, "great job," and make you feel like you are on the right path. Often, what a service tech they just resort to putting out fires and working as fast as they can to make sure they complete their route quota. Let's take a moment to think about what possibilities are we leaving behind? What customers' questions are we not answering? What needs are we not fulling? What opportunities are we not seeing?
Unfortunately, when it comes to fixing the employee and having to change them to a proactive service or a consultative one. You get a lot of resistance because it's hard to change people once they are set in their ways. Also, when you bring it up occasionally in a meeting on what they should be doing, you just get a lot of head nods but no commitment.
But at the end of the day, it falls on management to set those expectations. But if management believes that training is expensive, it is because you do not know what ignorance costs. Companies that have the loyalty of their employees invest heavily in permanent training programs. It makes it difficult when a company doesn't invest in any training structure. If you have an untrained tech and send him off into the field, they will lack knowledge, and may never know where to go for resources, and oversee processes. In return, the rep or tech will take up time to answer a question or find a solution; in return, the company and client will suffer.
Let's go over the top reasons why you should invest in training.
You make your employees feel like they are valuable. It's a huge benefit because they know what to do, and they feel like you are investing in their success. You want them to succeed, not just see how they work out, and find out if they can pick it. Why bet on talent when you can grow it and make it a guarantee?
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They did a survey and asked what makes a company great! The top three are all tied together. It comes down to if your team is not performing, then there can be no real incentives that they can achieve.
Again, untrained employees' equal unhappy employees. They feel that they are being underutilized. These employees are more apt to become frustrated with their job and be less loyal to their company, meaning they will make more mistakes and fail to meet even minimum standards. Management often assumes that providing training will lead to employees moving on to other companies, but this simply isn't true. With proper training, employees feel like they are valued and are happier in their jobs, plus a job that comes with training will attract a higher class of candidates.
An IBM study revealed that employees who feel they cannot develop in the company and fulfill their career goals are 12 times more likely to leave the company.
Additionally, training helps in a more short-term way by assisting employees to be more efficient in their interaction with customers. A trained employee can answer questions without having to go to a manager, and with training comes a greater understanding of the job, which leads to more efficient work and the ability to get along with management.
Training and Retaining Current Employees is Cheaper Than Hiring New Ones
Lack of training leads to employees who feel unappreciated in their job, and in a general sense, their job doesn't matter. At this point, employees either leave or get fired for poor performance. While it may seem simple just to replace one worker with another, consider this: hiring someone can cost up to 30% of the job's salary, which for an employee that makes $40,000 a year that could equal around $12,000 to hire someone new.
However, training an existing employee might only cost a few hundred and take far less time. Even if replacing one employee doesn't sound that bad, consider that for every three employees that need to be replaced, that will equal an entire salary with no real gains.
The training and recruitment costs of new hires are far more than what it would take to train an existing employee as well when you factor in the time and money it takes to hire along with time spent as a new employee acclimates to the company. Rehiring costs represent around 12% of a company's expenses, with up to 40% for businesses that have a high turnover rate.
These stats prove that turnover is costly. A study conducted by Right Management also confirmed it. About 70% of organizations say that staff turnover has a negative financial impact on them due to the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training a replacement employee, and the overtime work of current employees that are required until the organization can fill the vacant position.
Trained Employees Work Smarter
A company is only as good as its employees, and those employees are only as good as the resources put into them. When workers perform poorly, it reflects badly on the business and affects the bottom line. Still, when you have a high turnover rate with dozens or hundreds of employees making the same mistakes, then it's time to look at the training provided, not the employees themselves.
Proper training will make workers better and more capable of their jobs, which will reduce the time it takes to search for information as they are working. This also helps to quiet redundancy of effort where multiple employees are attempting to perform the same task, not realizing whose job it is because they have never been trained otherwise. The time and money it takes to correct mistakes are also lessened greatly when employees have the tools to do the task right the first time.
It may seem overwhelming to provide a week long training course to employees, but there is a better alternative. With our technology-driven world and on-demand culture, the best and most cost-effective way to offer training is with online courses that can be taken at an employee's own pace and schedule.
More Numbers to Know
According to HR Magazine, companies that invest $1,500 on training per employee can see an average of 24% more profit than companies who spend less.
Additionally, a study of 2500 businesses done by ATD found that companies that offer thorough training had more than twice the amount of income per employee over firms that offered less training. They also create a 6% higher return for shareholders when training per employee is increased by $680.
Effective Training Equals Increased Productivity
Training is no longer about sending all managers away for a weekend conference or sending anyone to an eight-hour-long lecture in a hotel. Effective training needs to be tailored to employee and business needs and to be an ongoing venture.
Competition from around the globe and ever-changing technology means that skills need to be regularly updated to keep your workforce ready and able to support your company. Your Human Resources Department should make it a priority to integrate processes to encourage and promote employee education and skill development while also keeping the amount of time spent away from work to a minimum.
This is where eLearning courses come to the rescue. A single 8-hour training course can be condensed into a 3-hour eLearning course that students can access on their own time and terms. eLearning courses offer a great chance for retention as well because students can go back and look at sections they didn't understand. The information is broken down into more manageable bites.
Productivity is also increased because an effective training makes employees feel valued and empowered, which fosters loyalty and engagement with the company that provides that training. A study by the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce (EQW) supports this with its finding that a 10% increase in educational development produced an 8.6% gain in productivity.
Before forgoing training, always consider how much more expensive it is not to train. Consider productivity loss, the cost of employee turnover, and lost customers due to mistakes made by improperly trained employees. Your employees' training and happiness is just as much an asset as the workers themselves.
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Resource for blog was The True Cost of Not Providing Employee Training