Six Reasons to Gift Skills Training to Your Employees
The benefits to both individuals and businesses as a whole
At the Datalabs Agency, we’re firm believers in hiring great people and continuing to support them, particularly with training (but also with workplace-appropriate hugs), throughout their journey with us. We like to see our staff strive, flourish and inspire. Training our staff helps us see that and it also helps our business.
Whether it be a bonus for hitting KPI targets, an end-of-year token of gratitude, a birthday or work anniversary present or just out of the good of your heart – there are plenty of great reasons to gift skills training to your employees. Here are our top six:
1. Employee retention
Employee retention has been on the radar of businesses for some time now – and for good reason. A high retention rate means businesses doesn’t suffer the from inevitable information loss that stems from employee turnover. Regardless of how good the handover is, there’s always something that falls through the cracks. And we all know that’s not the only issue with turnover – recruitment costs, project delays, time spent interviewing new candidates instead of progressing client work and a growing staff perception that the business sees its staff as merely replaceable resources – just to list a few.
In short, retaining your employees means minimizing business risks.
And what’s a great way of retaining employees? Recognize their achievements and reward their efforts with something that shows the business is (literally) investing in them. Gifting skills training shows your employees that you want to see them progress in the business. In turn, it also keeps them motivated to progress. With a new sense of appreciation, loyalty and overall engagement in the business, you’ll not only have a much better chance of retaining your valuable employees, but you’ll also end up with a better work culture that spreads like wildfire in keeping your staff happy and proactive.
2. Become an ‘Employer of Choice’ and increase your brand credibility
What do ‘employee retention’ and ‘staff benefits’ have in common? They’re both key considerations in a business becoming an employer of choice. And being an employer of choice has a lot of perks…
- your staff become promoters of your business
- the media will talk more about your organization (and with a nice tone, too!) in the numerous blogs and articles about the best businesses to work for
- your customers and clients feel more confident in doing business with you, and,
- your business attracts a lot more talent when a new job listing is posted.
Basically, being an employer of choice makes everyone happy and gives your business some serious brand cred.
3. Increased in-house capabilities
It’s a no-brainer – training your staff will increase your in-house capabilities. By investing in some quality skills training for your employees, you’re really investing in your business. Choose the training wisely and you’ll reduce the need to outsource tasks at exorbitant contractor rates, your team will be able to deliver more quickly and accurately and, depending on the training, you could even extend your business’ product and service offering and venture into new markets. Not to mention the confidence your staff will have in chatting to clients and finding solutions for them, which, as another bonus, reflects well on your business’ professionalism and reliability. Choosing an innovative topic such as Data Visualization Tools & Techniques, for example, will build your employees’ confidence in communication and presentation, increase productivity in preparing both internal and external communication, allow them to identify the trends and insights hidden in raw data more efficiently and with ease, and even brush up their design skills too.
4. The ‘feel-good factor’
It’s nice to give! That warm, fuzzy feeling of doing good (that must be what keeps Santa going all night on Christmas Eve), spreads throughout your body and makes you smile. Though in this scenario, you have one-up on good old Saint Nick’ because, after you gift skills training to your employees, you actually get to see the smiles spread to your recipients’ faces, you then get to see them grow because of the training you gifted and you get to see your business grow as a result, too. Soon enough, no one can stop smiling and your workplace will become more energetic than PlaySchool (though much more productive).
5. Post-training skills sharing
Even if you only train one employee (or for larger organizations – perhaps one from each team), there’s always the potential for skills learnt by one employee to be passed onto others. While it can be beneficial to send multiple people to the same training so they can reflect and work on the content together (two or more heads are better than one), sometimes it just may not be feasible. But that’s ok. When your employee/s return with their new found skills, why not ask them to teach other staff members? The return on your initial investment will increase in multiples! But this isn’t just for cost-saving purposes – there are other benefits too:
- the selected employee will now get to learn and practice leadership skills
- a longer-term open communication in the team is promoted
- employees will get to bounce ideas and interpretations between each other as they learn
- the training is now set in your organization, so will be probably taught with a lot more relevance to your business’ procedures and tasks
- your team now have other people in the organization to turn to if they need help
- your team can teach others in the workplace and spread new skills in the same fashion as compound interest!
6. Networking opportunities
Lastly, if the training your employees are undertaking is an open-invite situation, rather than a corporate solution (which has its own benefits), they’ll have the opportunity to network with the other attendees. Perhaps they’ll make a new relationship with potential clients. At the very least, they’ll probably get some inside info into which organizations are looking into the same things for their own business and see what other people in the industry are up to.
Choosing training wisely
There is an abundance of ways that training can help your business, but it is important to choose the right training to get the most out of it.
Think of something that will:
- Help your staff become more efficient in their current roles. For example, training them in the software they use or new, innovative techniques for their role
- Address the needs of the business now and in the future. For example, training on new technology or processes for the business adopt or improve on
- Help other staff as well. For example, training one staff member on new processes that make it easier for other staff members down the line or training a staff member on tasks that other staff usually complete so the team can support each other when needed
- Be facilitated by experts. For example, if you’re looking into training around data visualization, you’d want it to be facilitated by the Datalabs Agency!
- Help innovate your business and/or give you a competitive edge. For example, training on engaging presentation or communication methods.
If you can, try to find training that ticks a few of these boxes!