“What if I train my employees and they leave? More importantly, What if I don’t train them and they stay?”

I have no idea where I heard that from but it has stuck with me for at least 20 years. In our corporate vision statement, we say “We have the best trained, knowledgeable and technical-skilled workforce of any company in the area”. We also say the “We believe that employees are not an expense at our companies but truly an asset to be nurtured and appreciated”. Why is that so important?

In his 2017 book “The New ROI: Return on Individuals”, Dave Bookbinder discusses the concept of people as a tangible asset. He says that valuation experts tend to consider the workforce as part of goodwill and not an actual asset. Further, he identifies the cost of turnover for an average employee to be roughly 20% of their annual salary. So what is it that employees are looking for in order to stay engaged?

One of the major reasons employees leave an organization is lack of engagement and lack of challenging work. The failure to provide a career plan and craft a vision for your employees will more often contribute to their exit than will an extra $1/hour from your competition. Training employees to become a more valuable asset to your organization is a major Win-Win for you both. Not only will they be able to better serve your customers but, they will have become more of a contributor to the bottom-line and therefore, worth more money.

Do not overlook the importance of training and educating your workforce both for your sake and theirs.

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