We identified in the first article how belief in professional development empowers a highly engaged team to be successful. Understanding the commitment and investment necessary to stay the course for professional development are also critical components.
A company’s commitment to its employees is easily discernible. It shows in management’s attitudes and practices. Does the company provide competitive wages? Do they have an attractive benefits package, does it include additional perks based on corporate success? Do they treat their employees like valuable assets to be protected, or like expendable commodities that are easily replaced? A company with a strong commitment to its employees’ wellbeing and growth will naturally have an equally strong commitment to establishing training practices that promote both.
It should be noted that today, when remote employees are becoming the norm, companies need to transform their belief in strong training programs to a firm commitment to remote training and virtual learning.
The culture of commitment needs to be strong because providing valuable virtual training opportunities for remote employees takes research, time and planning. Finding the right technology, tools and solutions that empowers your team will further strengthen corporate culture. Just like you need to hire team members who reflect your culture’s values and objectives, you should find training solutions that align with, and reflect well, on your brand. The quality of the training you put together will manifest your level of commitment to your teams’ success.
The next step in the process of building a strong corporate training culture is investment. Investments can be made in terms of time, effort, and money — and all three are necessary to build a solid training program.
The Time & Effort Investment
Training courses should be research-based and data-driven. According to Training Industry, “A data-driven learning strategy aligns learning goals with the business and ensures the learning function is putting its design, manufacturing, and reporting capabilities to good use by working on high-value and high-impact initiatives.” In other words, taking the time to collect the necessary data and do the requisite research pays off, as it gives rise to training strategies that actually work.
There’s a lot of information available, and many platforms claim they can facilitate or even create high-quality training for your company. Most of these solutions were built for web meetings and do not have the tools necessary to fully engage learners. When researching the best virtual training platform, consider that nobody knows your culture better than you and marry that with what your company learning goals are. The time and effort to outline your goals and needs beforehand, and then verify what technology solutions can guarantee will more clearly define what you should use.
The Money Investment
High-quality training isn’t free. If somebody offers to do something for you at no charge, make sure you read every word of fine print because you’ll pay for it one way or another, guaranteed. Virtual, instructor-led training (VILT) can save you significant money over traditional, on-location sessions, but it still requires a monetary investment.
For comparison, according to the Association for Talent Development, the average training cost per employee is $1,252, whereas Fortune 500 companies like Google, IBM, and Amazon have reported that when they switched to online training they saved 65% of their training budget. That savings would bring the cost of training each employee down to about $438, which is a significant savings, of course, but again … not free.
Understanding the cost of training vs the cost of staff turnover helps companies reassess what they are spending. Given most people have identified that the single most important thing they want from their employer is professional development, increasing investment into the number one resource makes sound business sense.
We are in a talent market where the skills gap is large. This means more training is needed, not less. Companies should consider investing more in employee training. Investing in training, not travel, through virtual training will ensure more frequent training can be a part of the employee development plan. Using technology designed for training and learning is as important as a solid learning and development strategy.
Employee investment is a critical part of a sound corporate culture that will attract and retain a valuable resource base which ultimately results in corporate growth.