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The Importance And ROI Of Employee Training And Development
Done properly, employee training and development can provide a company with an unexpectedly huge ROI, or return on investment. After all, the biggest asset any business could have is its people. If the untapped potential locked inside employees is unleashed and channeled effectively, it will surely boost the company's performance a great deal.
The question remains, of course, as to the best way to go about training employees. It's not easy, considering that it calls for teaching employees new ways of communication in dealing with their colleagues, business partners, and customers. Not to mention a complete personality makeover to boost confidence and flesh out traits like closing and leadership skills, teamwork, and project management.
The most critical part of this exercise is probably management training. It can be divided into two parts - managing people and processes. The latter one is more of a science, and one of the core components of the curriculum in business schools. Managing people needs talent and is more of an acquired skill.
If employee training and development can help improve the people management skills of a company's managers, it will be a huge accomplishment. Every manager's team will start providing better results and working smoothly as a team under their newly improved manager. The best part of this kind of exercise is that the ROI is noticeable and measurable. This means that the company will know exactly how much they have gained from an HR exercise like this, and it can be broken up right down to the ROI obtained from each department or team.
Apart from the management makeover, other important areas that benefit from employee training include sales and customer relations. It's not hard to see how better personality and communication skills will help in these areas. If this exercise can help the company's sales force hone its presentation and closing skills, conversion rates will go up and the difference can again be monitored and measured to judge ROI. Similarly, being able to communicate better with customers will improve loyalty and repeat business.
Now it's easy to talk about how all this can help, but changing people and personalities is a tough job in reality. What it needs is a professional approach by consultants who are able to study the company's processes and its people, and suggest a customized solution. Any company, no matter how big or small, needs to do this at least once and then follow the same exercise for every new batch of employees.
The typical first reaction from management and employees when the HR department suggests learning and personality development sessions is to tell them to go take a hike. After all, everyone is busy doing their jobs and there's hardly any time to 'go back' to school. There's also the fact that people are resistant to change, especially when it comes to their work or personality. But leadership needs to look at the big picture and think about how it can change the company's dynamics and maximize productivity. The best way to do this is to make annual employee training and development sessions mandatory. It can be managed in batches in a rolled-out timeframe so that the sessions don't disrupt the company's business or day-to-day activities.
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