“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”
– Henry Ford
Investing in your team often feels like a trade-off. If they’re taking a course, they can use those skills to get a better job elsewhere. If they’re at a conference, they aren’t at work being productive. But if you look at the numbers, it’s not really a trade-off at all. Investing in your team almost always pays. First, investing in employees is correlated with higher retention, not lower. And the dollar value attached to missing a couple days of work can be compared with the dollar value of associated with higher productivity for the entire rest of that employee’s tenure.
As you set your budgets for 2020, let’s take a quick look at the ROI of training, because really, ROI is what matters, not cost.
The denominator – cost – is usually a hard number, easy to understand. That’s why leaders often fixate on it. The numerator is the return, and it’s a little bit fuzzier. The things you’re looking for are individual or team productivity improvements, and positioning for company growth. Training is teaching your team to fish, so that they work more efficiently, and you can get there simply by investing in one key person and then having that person pass their knowledge onto everybody else.
Because productivity improvements are hypothetical prior to the training, it’s important to carefully align the training you’re paying for with the needs of the business. You wouldn’t pay for your senior tech to take basket-weaving lessons because there’s no added value to your business, whereas teaching your senior tech to write code so they can develop API integrations to automate dozens of processes, is going to have a positive return in terms of time saved. You won’t know the exact number, but you can probably make a reasonable estimate.
The other component of the return is positioning for growth. A fairly simple example would be training someone to take over your service desk so that you can focus on sales and marketing. With an extra 20-30 hours per week to generate leads and work them, you can estimate how much you’ll be able to grow your business. So the service desk might not be any more efficient, but your business overall will be.
Once you have a good sense of the ROI, you have to figure out the most efficient means of training your team. This could be courses, or it could be going to events.
For example, at GlueX 2020 we’re adding a new technical track focused solely on getting the most out of IT Glue—an addition to the Business and Sales & Marketing tracks. Plus, there will be several pre-day certification courses from several different vendors. If you bring one of your top techs with you, get them some certifications, and have them take a deep dive into the technical side of the business. You’re making an investment in the long-run success of your entire company. This is doubly true if you also come to GlueX, and focus on the other two tracks.
At $299 until December 31st, GlueX 2020 is great value. Heck, it’s solid value after the New Year, too, but you may as well save the money because you can. Get your GlueX 2020 tickets today, and sign up for some of the extra goodies. Make an investment in your team that will pay off for years to come.