The skills of your employees represent one of the most important elements of your business. The better your employees are at their job, the easier it is for your company to attain the level of productivity that is necessary to achieve success in your field.
On the other side of the coin, employee training can get costly. Many business owners and operators are trying to come up with an answer to the question, “should you be paying for your employees to upskill?” For several important reasons, the answer to this question is a resounding, “Yes!”
Why Upskilling is Valuable
Despite the costs that are involved, upskilling does have a large amount of value for companies that decide to provide these benefits to their employees. When considering the question of “should you be paying for your employees to upskill?” remember the two main benefits of deciding to upskill: improving your company’s productivity, and boosting your employee engagement.
The Productivity Benefits of Upskilling
One of the most important benefits of deciding to upskill your employees is the productivity advantage that you will reap because of this decision. Many other types of companies have already received these productivity benefits; in fact, government research about training in Australia shows that greater than four out of every five companies in Australia provide training for their employees.
While training for most types of employees will provide you with benefits as far as productivity goes, upskilling for some kinds of employees will provide a direct contribution to your bottom line. For example, if you provide training for your sales team about closing techniques that provides them with an increase in their closing rate, your company will enjoy more sales thanks to your sales team closing more deals with potential customers. The productivity benefits of upskilling also extend to back and middle office positions. For example, providing your customer service reps with training will make them more likely to help your customers effectively, which will then improve your customer satisfaction rates and give you a better chance at retaining existing business.
The other big consideration that you need to make when you are wondering “should you be paying for your employees to upskill?” is an employee engagement benefit. Studies have shown that one of the most significant benefits of upskilling is a boost to your employee engagement.
Upskilling and Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is critical for a productive, smoothly functioning company. Despite how critical it is for a successful company, research shows that many businesses in Australia have issues with engagement. Employee engagement statistics from the Hewitt Best Employer Survey show that only 54% of Australian employees are engaged. This is quite alarming when you consider that global research firms like Aon Hewitt have reported that higher employee engagement can lead to increased shareholder return, greater revenues, and less turnover.
So how exactly does upskilling help your organisation improve its employee engagement? Primarily because it shows your team members that you value their performance and are invested in the work that they do for you. A willingness to invest in the skills of your employees shows that you are committed to them and are willing to help them do everything possible to get better at their job.
Upskilling your employees is especially important because they can keep these skills with them, even if they eventually decide to leave your organisation. Since your employees recognise this fact, they will understand that your decision to invest in their job skills is an investment in them, as well as in your business. This fact will make them respond better to your training and be more loyal to your company.
Other Concerns for Upskilling
Remember that when you are considering the question “should you be paying for your employees to upskill?” you should think about what specific type of training your employees would benefit the most from. While certain kinds of upskilling are very valuable, there are other kinds of training that will not give you a sufficient return on investment. Take your time when choosing a provider of upskilling so that you can get the services that you need to make your employees better at their jobs.
Although you may be wary of the costs that are involved with upskilling, remember that if you find the right provider, the benefits of upskilling far outweigh the upfront costs. Take steps to provide training for your team so that you can boost your bottom line and show your employees that you are truly concerned about their professional wellbeing.