Dan K. Richardson - Entrepreneurship Development Institute

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The Importance of Employee Development & Training - In "Slow" Economic Times...

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."~
Derek Curtis Bok

The Importance of Employee Development & Training - In Slow Economic Times...
It is critical for companies to stay competitive and profitable in today's economic climate. During a down turned economy, companies usually don't have the financial resources it takes to invest in new technology or developing new products. With budgets cut backs, companies implement ways to save money and unfortunately, employee training and development is viewed as more optional than essential. They therefore, make the mistake of thinking that employee training and professional development is one of the budgets to reduce or eliminate entirely. This viewpoint can be costly to a company's short-term profits and long-term progress by creating an inefficient workforce.

The primary reason employee development and training programs are considered optional by so many business owners is because they're viewed more as an expense than an investment. There could be nothing further from the truth. In many organizations, training budgets are solely a function of whether the company is enjoying an economic upswing or experiencing a downturn. In good economic times, companies spend money on training, and in bad times, the pendulum swings the other way and training and employee development programs are eliminated. In any economic environment, the training expense should be determined by the business results you want by having well trained and efficient employees, not budget-related factors.

During slow economic times, employers should invest in employee training and development. This can help companies make it through tough times and assist in keeping good employees which in turn increases the company's productivity and profitability. And with a highly trained, effective and loyal work force, many companies can postpone or even avoid having to downsize. Studies show time and time again that a company's opportunity for growth is closely connected to its commitment to employee development and training. In other words, a company is only as good as its employees.

Ongoing training programs in critical economic times benefit employees and employers in the following ways by:
  • Creating a group of available and qualified replacement personnel who may move up the ladder or leave the organization.
  • Helping businesses achieve greater customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Keeping employees up to date on the latest business and technological advances.
  • Producing loyal employees who are less likely to move on to a competitor or other employer.
  • Better equipping employees to be more flexible and ready to deal with obstacles and setbacks.
  • Making employees feel rewarded by expanding their knowledge and ability to take on new responsibilities and challenges with confidence.
Smart and successful companies, whether in good or slow economic times that want to attract, cultivate and good retain employees invest in their people. By investing in them, they will ultimately be investing in the company. With so much competition and limited economic resources, companies need to focus on the business at hand - not to also compete to keep good employees. Employees are the most valuable asset a company has. When a company chooses to invest in their employees' skills and knowledge, the benefits are invaluable and critical to its




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