In 2014, Bersin by Deloitte released the results of its 2014 Corporate Learning Factbook, the results of which have been highlighted in the likes of Forbes and TLNT. The data from the study, which analyzed benchmarks and trends in the American and global training markets, provides some great insight into how training and business growth correlate. We've outlined some of the key messages that can be gleaned from this information to help your bottom line.
Data supports factoring training into your business growth strategy. Here's how to take advantage and get others on board:
Don't be afraid of the cost it takes to train correctly
Yes, training takes time, and time is money. But the data proves that high-performing companies spend more on training. Per Josh Bersin, a founder and principal at Bersin by Deloitte, "Companies which fall into our “high-impact” categories spend significantly more on training than average. So companies who invest in a total L&D strategy spend more per employee than those who are inconsistent. This shows that L&D spending pays off." (L&D is a common abbreviation for learning and development.) If you're having any issues on getting higher-ups to agree on training budgets, point to some specific companies with established, ongoing learning programs. This may be the persuasion you need to convince them.
Make business growth mirror employee growth
As we've said before, it costs significantly less to retain an employee than to bring on a new one. The study gave some additional numbers supporting this fact. Per Bersin: "Not only do more than 70% of organizations cite 'capability gaps' as one of their top five challenges, but many companies also tell us that it takes 3-5 years to take a seasoned professional and make them fully productive."
So—in addition to learning opportunities that cover daily tasks—provide your employees with training on leadership skills that they'll find fulfilling. TLNT summarized it as follows: "But the opportunity to develop management and leadership skills may be the most valuable investment for both sides of the employee-management relationship. It prepares the next generation of organizational leaders, it communicates a commitment to employees’ futures and it strengthens the ties between these two sides of the employment equation."
Spend on training when your company is growing so you can prepare for less-lucrative periods
One of the most telling trends the study found was that, according to Bersin, "Corporate training is always a very good indicator of economic activity: when companies slow down they often cut training spending, and then as business grows they ramp back up to train new hires, sales people, and leaders." So boost your training initiatives when your company is experiencing growth, especially when it comes to developing a system by which employees can seek more answers and take initiative. When slower growth occurs, you'll be glad that they are well-equipped to help themselves.
Start out by learning about the different types of virtual training available and how you can integrate them into your company's training. Download our complimentary eBook, "Choosing a Virtual-Training Method that Meets Your Needs."