The Value of Workforce Development: By the Numbers

Value of workforce development iconWith the economic challenges in the past few years, many companies have pulled back on training opportunities. It seems logical to reduce spending when times get tough; however, the ones who push forward with high-value internal investments are positioned to succeed as the market turns around.

Where it All Begins

It’s common knowledge: a company that invests in internal training is better suited to meet market demands than a company that does not. The real question is how much it really matters.

A survey by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) found that companies that invest in training programs outperform the market by 45%. Source

So now we have a number. It’s clearly good for the organization. But what about the employees? Well, there’s data there, too.

Based on recent research from, employees place high value on training and development opportunities. In fact, 27% of those surveyed listed it as the most important benefit their company offers.

Consider that for a moment. Training opportunities, for a portion of the workforce, are more important than any other benefit their employer can offer.

Bottom line – the intersection of these numbers represents a significant opportunity for organizations with regard to training. People want it. Companies need it.

Another Point to Consider

The cost of employee turnover is staggering. Some sources put the cost of turnover at approximately 20% of an employee’s salary. Face it, when employees leave, it’s expensive and often a painful transition.

However, training and development opportunities can decrease turnover and increase employee satisfaction, offering yet another boost to the bottom line in the form of reduced expenses. Some would argue that training staff only increases the risk of losing key information when that person leaves. If that logic prevailed, we would never offer any training to anyone for fear of them leaving! The proper approach would be to include the training goals in someone’s performance development plan to ensure alignment between the organizational goals and the employee’s career aspirations.

Companies that purposefully pursue internal growth will come out ahead in the end. And, as we learned today, they will have a happier, more engaged workforce as well.

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