Engagement in Training – Part III – The Impact of Engagement-Based Training

In the first article, we looked at how employee engagement differs from employee satisfaction, and why that matters when it comes to the kind of training a company offers. We reviewed why engagement-based training leads to better employee engagement.

In this article, we’ll explore whether efforts to improve training are actually worth it. Does training improve the company as a whole and save money in the long run? How does high-quality, engagement-based training make a difference to a company overall?

Return on Investment

Research has shown that the return on training investment ranges from marginal to extremely impactful, depending on the type of training offered. HR Morning relayed a study cited on the Southern New Hampshire University website, where companies reported ROI ranging from 40% to well over 300%.  Results can vary drastically, but leadership is looking for these types of results.

Higher Productivity

Not only does better training result in higher productivity, but it results in accelerated productivity with new hires. Studies have shown that new hires can typically take up to eight months to reach full productivity. But high-quality training programs can greatly reduce that time by providing clarity up front regarding work roles, needed skills and practice, and even company culture (Entrepreneur).

Better Engagement

When employees are engaged in their work, they are far more productive. Disengaged workers cause major losses in the business industry – some 450-500 billion dollars a year. Tamara Rosin, Managing Editor at WalkMe, advises that, “Effective training is also directly tied to employee engagement levels. When an employee first joins your company, they’re in the ‘honeymoon’ phase—eager to work hard and prove themselves. But if your training doesn’t empower them to perform at the highest level, you can be sure engagement will drop.”

Improved Retention

The groundwork for improved retention rates starts with training. According to Gregory Smith of ZenBusiness, “Gen. X and Gen. Y workforce view training and development as critical. They value the opportunity to advance and make more money. They also want to make a bigger contribution and have a fear of failing or falling behind in a competitive world.” When employees feel valued at work, they are more likely engage at work and are more likely to stay.  U.S. employers $2.9M a day/$1.1B a year, as they search for replacement workers to fill the gaps of those employees who have quit.

Reduced Skills Gap

Nearly two-thirds (67%) of HR leaders report a skills gap in their organizations, up from 52% in 2018 (BusinessWire). Effective, engagement-based training can serve as a launching pad to close the skills gap.  Once a company assesses what employees know, they can develop a training program to cover all the necessary bases (Training Industry). In the end, this kind of individualized training results in a more knowledgeable and skilled work force, producing a higher-quality product for the company.

The Impact of Engagement-Based Training

To effectively build engagement-based training, trainers need to step away from lecturing and “owning” the training event.  Using virtual learning environments built specifically for training, allows flexibility and action-based learning.  Using tools like customizable break out rooms and multi-screen sharing empowers the trainer to produce a high quality, hands-on and engaging learning event.  It offers participants a chance to own their learning because they can “do”.  Learning is best accomplished by doing.