TRAINING IS WHERE WE PROFIT

One of the best things that I have ever been taught is the return on investment training can bring an employee. This training is not one that takes a few hours or a few days. This training is over weeks and months and is continuous. When proper training is established and constantly utilized a company’s return on investment greatly increases. When this return on investment, or ROI, increases the company then profits and the cost of future training diminishes. Some companies attempt to train employees quickly in order to save the money which they are paying for those who are training and those who are being trained. The issue here is that when a company attempts to train quickly they are forced to spend more money to have others go back and fix the issues resulting from quick and poorly trained employees. On the other hand there are companies who train their employees for weeks before they are allowed to properly work in a field and then they are subject to continuous training as their career moves forward.

Figure 1: “What Does ROI Mean.” URL: http://open-first.com/2010/08/21/what-does-roi-mean-to-you/

The companies that utilize this lengthy training program are the ones that profit the most. They invest the money up front for the training. Some of which people think is dead money because they are not producing a task that will produce a profit, but the money they are spending is inevitably a profit. A company may not see this profit right away and that can be scary for small business, but when you have the time and resources, proper training can cause an increase in profits down the road.

Measuring Return on Investment for Training Initiatives is a great article which I can personally relate to a previous held position at corporate restaurant. When I had conversations with my bosses and even the managers below me, we talked about quite a few benefits of training and how it can be effective and I’ll always remember the meeting we had when 20 employees from all different levels were pulled out of the restaurants in order to participate in a training program to recognize danger zones. I went in thinking how could we possibly leave the restaurants in order to be trained to look for danger zones, and to say the least, I was not very optimistic, but by the end of the meeting, I not only took back with me the training on danger zones but the training on Return on Investment. We all sat there attentively listening to each speaker come up and give a small presentation. This is when our store owner got up and asked why do you think we do these training sessions? The typical answers came about such as: to make us better, teach us what not to do, and even make us better observers. She let out a little chuckle and stated there is one more objective in these meetings. We gazed at her with confusion as she explained. She began to explain how much the meeting was going to cost her to host and the disbelief hit us, but that is when she said this cost is nothing if each and every one of you can utilize the training. When you utilize this training we laid out and bring it back to the restaurants or businesses, it is easier to see the profits that we can bring.

Let’s face the facts, companies are not formed to lose money, they are created to make some kind of profit. So when you tell the CEO of a company training is going to be expensive and cost a lot in order to get it started and running, there is always a nervous feeling. A good manager or management team can potentially fix the uncertainty by providing the measures and calculations to show the returns. Where are the “Returns” in Training ROI? explains that training can be measured objectively and quantitatively. When a manager utilizes these calculations it can provide a better insight on the success of the program and later the success of a company. Although, the costs are easily calculated and can be shown, it is the returns that can be difficult. Companies provide evaluations on their employees and these can range in many different areas and span different time periods. Training can potentially improve the scores of said evaluations and open areas of improvement for individuals and the company. Most of us who have had Performance Reviews have seen how they work and what kind of things can be stated on them. Some companies use number systems and others use words like good, bad, needs improvement, and unacceptable. In my own experience I have utilized the word method, but it is not the reviews that really matter, it is how the information from the review is used.

In my own experience, managers would perform reviews on employees monthly. We would get together on a designated day and review what we have learned and where improvements can be made. This is where a training plan was introduced and where we would designate what we would like to see from said employees x amount of weeks later. These meetings would last an hour in most cases and we discuss the previous training and programs we implemented. It was a tedious project but a very rewarding one when you were able to see how the training was being utilized.

Figure 2: “Running Great Meetings” URL: http://researchcareersblog.com/2012/10/18/top-10-tips-for-running-a-great-meeting/#sthash.ijiy2bnC.dpbs

Many people are quick to say we need to save money or we cannot afford this training. There are still several things you cannot cut from a budget. Training is one of them and in my view the most important. When proper training programs are created and utilized they will do two things. First they will pay for themselves and second they will create a profit. In my personal experience 10 properly trained employees can do more quality work than 20 employees who received poor and mediocre training.

Great companies are always looking for the returns. When the man or woman in charge signs off on a training program they not only expect success but they want to see the returns the program can bring. If this cannot be seen they can question whether or not the training really happened or the effectiveness of the manager. In any case when we are trying to earn profits in company or business the returns from training are to be expected.

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