You work hard to keep the learning and development (L&D) wheel spinning. You know careful spending on L&D is a good bet.
And so here we are. You made the bet, took the plunge, and sent your people to training. You spent money on the program, had them off the job for a day or a week, and now with fingers crossed you honestly hope it was all worth it. Like you, I have made that bet many times. Here are some ideas that can help justify L&D for your team.
First, there are benefits for each employee. The links between L&D and employee loyalty, retention, engagement, and satisfaction are well researched. (Wranx has a good article based on various studies.) So, investing in L&D can make your people 12% more effective? Or save you one $50,000 hiring event in a year? Those may be reasons enough to justify a training budget.
Second, ask the employees themselves to estimate the impact.
“With what you learned, how many minutes will you save each day?”
Depending on the topic, each learner will probably save at least 5 minutes per day. If you sent 20 people to training, each making $25 per hour, those collective minutes just added over $10,000 in value for the team this year.* There are many ways to quantify productivity pre- and post-instruction. Pick something that works with your process. Saving 25-30 minutes per person each week is a real win any way you look at it.
Finally, some structured time away from “the grind” can focus everyone on a timely topic and yield real benefits. For example, “the holiday rush” is a good excuse to jumpstart the seasonal effort around a shared experience. A learning event gets everyone “on the same page” using common language and procedures. Standardized terminology and process alignment are both easy shortcuts to performance. Ask yourself,
“What is the cost of one mishandled order in December?”
If an hour spent in training can save a dozen mishandled orders, that hour was probably worth it. (Now, run the numbers and check!)
One last thought: it is better to move past “awareness” and towards L&D that is “hands on.” Real practice with real problems means better performance. Get those hands dirty, but in a controlled and safe environment. Your people will come back with better confidence and skill to tackle the real work. And at the end of the day, that’s really the goal.
As always, I would love to hear your “minutes matter” stories.
* (5 min x 20 people x 5 days) / 60 = 8.33 hours/week x 50 weeks = 417 hours x $25 = $10,425)
Copyright © 2016 Expeditionaire and Edward K. Beale
Image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Horse_Race_Finish_Line_(11888565543).jpg
(My book West By Sea is 20% off in August with discount code. Enjoy!)