Making the business case for training

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Garry is responsible for working with clients to identify, design and deliver bespoke development programmes, tailored to meet both their business and commercial requirements. He also delivers EEF’s open training programmes. He draws upon current research and study in Human Resource Development combined with a pragmatic and practical approach to allow easy application in the workplace.  Garry has worked with companies of all sizes from SME’s to larger blue chip organisations. He is a featured monthly writer in Training Journal and also a writer for TrainingZone. Garry is a frequent guest speaker at conferences and exhibitions. He has a Master’s Degree in Management Education, Training & Development, a diploma in Training Management, Certificate in Training Practise and is qualified to conduct psychometric testing to Level 2.

 

My response was to reference the Oxford Dictionary’s definition of the word Investment:

“The action or process of investing money for profit.”

I followed this up by asking the Director why he was investing in training at all if it was just a cost that delivered no benefit.  His response then covered many of the usual concerns and issues that I hear across industry.  Job-hopping, no clear evidence of a return, financial waste and so on.  If this was the prevailing attitude, then little wonder that training was seen as a cost rather than an investment.

The frequent absence of the discernible value of training is often built around an organisations approach.  Companies who fail to look at the results that they want to get from training will usually get less from their staff training than those who know what they want to achieve.  And it’s an attitude that has knock-on effects.  Companies who fail to invest in staff training or who train for the wrong reasons will see their workforce engagement diminish, declines in staff retention and morale and end up with a workforce who’s knowledge is behind the competition and less efficient to boot.

And that’s not the business that you want.

Understanding where, when and how to invest in staff training courses requires an understanding of the results that you are looking to achieve.  If you take the time to understand the problems that your organisation and staff are facing and commit, through them, to making the business better then you will reap the rewards of training quickly and change the conversation you’re having about the value of training entirely. 

Understand your training objectives

You will never get what you want from training if you don’t know what you want in the first place.  Take the time to engage your workforce, listen to them, assess what they do and recognise where there are performance gaps.  By understanding areas that effect your organisations efficiency and results you can implement a training plan to address problems and improve performance.  Not only will you see an improvement in the team and your company’s performance you’ll also benefit from a workforce who want to stay and keep working for you.

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In-house training for business

A recent and very extensive study by the Corporate Leadership Council into employee performance, retention and engagement uncovered some interesting findings not least the “10:6:2 rule”. It’s worth understanding this concept, as it showed how targeted training functions as a significant lever that affects motivation and competence for staff and this feeds directly into commitment. The 10:6:2 rule shows that:

Every 10% improvement in commitment can increase an employee’s effort level by 6%

Every 6% improvement in effort can increase an employee’s performance by 2%. 

It’s a rule that could significantly improve your bottom line.

Staff training courses that are delivered in-house, by experts and that reflect the challenges of your business and the needs of your staff will create a more engaged workforce.  It’s a workforce that will work for you and with you, who will be less inclined to leave and who can help you attract the best talent from your competitors and elsewhere.  If we can change our attitude from one of risk to one of reward, staff training ceases to a risky investment and becomes safe bet and you will reap the rewards.

EEF offers a range of staff training and development courses, delivered through both our dedicated training centres and via in-house programmes.  On November 20th 2014, EEF’s Training and Development Specialist Garry Platt will be delivering an online webinar discussing the best ways of making a business case for training.  EEF Training offer training courses for managers, HR professionals and business leaders wish to more accurately manage and measure the success of their training programmes.

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Training and Development Specialist

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