By Anica Oaks

A sound program for employee development benefits all types of workers and staff, but also benefits your company in that you’re getting better workers. Employee training can be a low priority when the budget is tight or the workload’s overwhelming. But when it is practical to do so, investing some time and money in improving your workers’ skills will pay off in the long run. Here are five good reasons why you should start.

1. Allows You to Recruit and Retain Quality Employees

Employee retention is a vital concern, since every worker that leaves requires you to find a replacement. Average cost of a new hire is about $4,000. And meanwhile, you’ve lost productivity. Employee training programs can help to reduce this problem.

Quality employees are not just looking for a paycheck, but are serious about their careers. Skills training programs can be an incentive that makes working for your company more appealing. It improves your reputation. If you run a company where employees can learn and grow as individuals, it’s an environment that they will find more rewarding personally and professionally, and so they will be much more likely to stay with you.

2. Creates Promotable Employees

Promoting employees from within is always a good practice, as they will already be familiar with the people and processes in place. You’ll also save on recruitment and hiring costs. Dedicated employees are always willing to take on new responsibilities.

However, promoting those who don’t have the people skills or aren’t really qualified can do more harm than good. That’s another good reason for implementing skills training in your business. Training programs can help to identify the employees with the most potential and ensure that they have the skills they need to tackle new opportunities.

3. Keeps Employees Engaged with Their Work

Veteran employees will eventually become bored with the same old job duties. Over time it’s no longer a challenge, and that becomes frustrating. Unhappy employees may develop negative attitudes and careless habits that can cause problems for others.

Employee training can be a constructive and welcome diversion from an increasingly dull routine. Improving or augmenting employee skillsets helps them to feel better about themselves and their jobs. Providing skills that may help expand their job roles gives employees a sense of purpose, growth and responsibility.

4. Improves the Bottom Line

Every employee that works hard and feels loyalty is an excellent financial asset. Whether they’re hourly or salary, greater productivity is saving you money and boosting profit. Giving workers the skills they need to be more engaged and deliver even better results means improved performance. That’s every hour of every workday, and that translates to more financial gain. Employee training should not be seen as a PR move. It should be viewed as an investment in your company.

5. Allows You to Plan for the Future

Skills training is a continuous process. It allows you to track employee improvement and incorporate that into your business strategy. Skills training programs should be part of your plan.

You should be asking what kind of leadership skills will be needed, how you can better serve customers, and what kind of changes you need to stay flexible. Employee training programs will help to identify strengths and weaknesses. For example, those having a strong grasp of software may do well in .NET classes that widen their scope of skills.

Many business owners fear that improving worker skills will only encourage them to seek jobs elsewhere. But if you provide an environment that offers reward and opportunity, you’ll be able to build a workforce that’s loyal as well as productive.

Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.