Investing in your employees is investing in your business

Training and development for employees can often be seen as expensive or time consuming, but if done well it can provide a significant return on investment.

You may ask – “But what happens if I train them and they leave?” Whilst this is a genuine concern, you’d also want to ask yourself – “What if I don’t train them and they stay?”

Research* revealed last year found that unproductive employees are costing British businesses around £22 billion annually. Boredom was listed as a top five distraction.

Sir Richard Branson summarised this nicely when he famously said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to”.

Define learning needs

It’s quite possible you will encounter an eager employee who is asking you to send them on a course to better their abilities. Whilst their enthusiasm should be well received, you’ll want to retain control over the types of training and development that you provide and that your business will benefit from.

Identifying the skills gap within your organisation can be drawn up as part of the annual appraisal process.

Protect your investment

Whilst it’s the individual or team who receive the training, the ultimate goal is to retain this knowledge within your business so that you can measure the ROI. You do not want to pay out, only for the employee to take the new qualifications to a competitor six months later.

Having a study assistance clause in an employee contract and a signed agreement in place will protect your investment should an employee leave sooner than expected. These set out that the financial assistance covering the course, for example, if the employee leaves within a year then 50% will be repayable. A study assistance policy can set out your expectations regarding time off for study days, examinations and what will happen should they fail.

*Totaljobs cost of the UK productivity crisis