What Is The Strategic Value of Workplace Training?
Training can be defined as the process of teaching or learning a skill. That’s the textbook definition. But in reality, the concept of training has many more aspects than just learning a skill. To many organizations, training is a means of meeting regulatory or legal requirements. Common to this purpose, for example, is training employees in the rules of sexual harassment in the workplace. There are other examples, as well: Safety Training for employees working with industrial equipment to meet insurance requirements or training in the organization’s policy and procedures. There is management training, too. One of the programs we see quite frequently is Training for New Supervisors. (You can find an expanded list of typical training courses on the eLeaP Learning Management System’s website).
Training can also become a means of altering behavior – not in a punitive way, but so that gaps in organizational performance can be closed. Common to this thread is the findings of an audit, financial or for certification. On occasion, findings require corrective action and if that affects a relatively large number of employees, training is often the solution to meeting the requirements.
For the individual, training can be a way to earn professional certification. Although some certifications may involve learning new skills, it is not directly focused on them nor is it the primary motivating factor. Likely, the motivation for gaining professional certification is to advance one’s career or become more employable. We consider this “professional development.”
There’s no argument that compliance or certification training is very important – to the organization, to the individual, or both. But the questions that we hear again and again are these: “How does training add value to my organization?” “Why should training and professional development be a part of our strategy?” “Where, exactly, is the return on the training investment?”