Tags: job | training | employee | engagement

Job Training Remains a Vital Component for Employee Engagement

Job Training Remains a Vital Component for Employee Engagement
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By    |   Wednesday, 22 May 2019 05:00 PM

American workers are more likely than not to be “ROAD warriors” – Retired On Active Duty.

A Gallup poll found that just 34 percent of American workers would consider themselves “engaged” at their jobs – with 53 percent “just showing up,” and 16.5 percent “actively disengaged.”

Most people have likely been discouraged at one point or another by the attitudes of coworkers with the mentality of “9 to 5.” But employee disengagement – has far greater implications than just a chilling effect on office morale. Failure to engage employees is a major driver of lost revenue.

But first, what is the definition of an engaged employee vs. a non-engaged employee? Engaged employees have a strong mental and emotional connection to their place of work and are willing to go above and beyond to see their company succeed. They understand where they fit in as a part of the whole and see why their roles are important. Disengaged employees are those one might see surfing the web on company time, taking overly long lunches, frequent smoke breaks, or causing strife among other employees for entertainment. In other words, they’re not getting much done and actively weighing down the productivity of those who do.

A separate Gallup poll found that companies with engaged employees are able to generate up to 21 percent greater profit. On the other hand, a study by The Engagement Institute, which surveyed 1,500 company respondents, found that disengaged employees cost companies between $450-$550 billion per year. Engaged employees are not just easier to manage and make for a more positive workplace, they are one of a company’s largest (and certainly most) make-or-break assets.

In fact, the “Law of Profit” states that a company’s profit is equal to the potential of its employees’ times their engagement.

So what is the best way a company can go about engaging its employees? The answer lies in a measure many of today’s companies are not willing to take: substantive employee training. Companies often have the misconception that training is too expensive, or that employees, once trained, will simply leave the company for a better opportunity. This results in the practice of many companies looking to hire only candidates who seem ready to “hit the ground running” on Day 1. This practice, though, is shortsighted in that it misses a major opportunity to engage employees and turn them into truly valuable assets. The best talent in the world, if disengaged, will never do a company much good.

Recognizing the value of training starts with noticing what most up-and-coming employees are looking for when they choose a place to work. According to a survey of millennials conducted by PwC, “opportunities for career progression” and “excellent training/development programs” were the #1 and #3 categories, respectively, that made an organization compelling to work for.

Today’s workforce wants to commit and be engaged at their place of work, but they need to feel that same level of investment and engagement from their company. And investment in the form of training and development is the best way to do that. Quantum Workplace identifies “[valuing] people as [an organization’s] most important resource” as one of the critical six indicators of a company with high employee engagement.

And training is not nearly as expensive as most companies believe as it’s far more expensive not to train employees. When untrained employees become disengaged and either must be let go or leave of their own accord, hiring someone new can cost up to 30 percent of that job’s salary (for example, an employee making $40,000 will cost $12,000 to replace). Employee turnover very quickly gets expensive, far more expensive than investing in the cost of training. Also, HR Magazine calculates that companies which invest $1,500 in training each employee can see an average of 24 percent more profit than companies which invest little to none.

The good news is that training no longer has to be as cumbersome as it used to be, blocking out an entire workweek to train employees or sending managers on an expensive retreat. Training can now take the form of online or digitally-based courses that employees can complete on their own schedule. However, a company that decides to train its employees, HR and management should always ensure onboarding procedures establish the following:

  • What an employee is expected to give (i.e. clear performance expectations)
  • What an employee will get in exchange for his/her work (i.e. clear outline of compensation)
  • What the employee’s role is in the organization, and why it’s important
  • The ways in which the employee has the opportunity to grow, eventually take on more responsibility, and rise through the ranks of company leadership

HR and management should also ensure that each and every employee is given the tools and authority necessary to complete his/her job well.

Finally, companies should look at effective training as just one key measure to develop a “culture of engagement,” where employee engagement is something that is highly prioritized by managers every day.

Training should also be balanced by formal company surveys regarding engagement and satisfaction, as well as more informal, morale-building opportunities such as mentoring programs, career development discussions, and recognition programs. Employees that are treated as the most important resource of a company will generally act accordingly. And that will be reflected in the bottom line.

Vladimir Sidorenko is Founder and CEO of Performia CIS, an international personnel management consulting company. Created in 2001, they specialize in effective solutions to personnel problems and technology for hiring productive employees and contributing to higher profits for companies. Performia International is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden and Performia CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) is located is Moscow, Russia.

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​Untrained and unhappy employees who feel that they are underutilized have a higher likelihood of being frustrated on the job and less loyal to their companies. Therefore, increased job training efforts can turn the tide for US enterprises.
job, training, employee, engagement
Wednesday, 22 May 2019 05:00 PM
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