When managers are asked to scale down their budgets, one of the first line items they cut is employee training and development.
This is especially true in nonprofit organizations where funds are typically scarce and the focus is on the “here and now” — what must we do today to get the work completed now. This leaves little room for thought on developing employees, much less the funds. What is unfortunate about this reality is that it neglects to consider the costs associated with not investing in employee development.
Recently I stumbled across a Harvard Business Review article titled, “Why top young managers are in a nonstop job hunt.” In it, the authors Monika Hamori,Jie Cao and Burak Koyuncu discussed why employees are exiting organizations.
The article noted that many top performing employees do not receive the training and career development they want to grow their skills, causing them to look for other employers that provide such support. The research was based on over 1,200 interviews and surveys with employees across the globe
The authors wrote:
“Dissatisfaction with some employee-development efforts appears to fuel many early exits. We asked young managers what their employers do to help them grow in their jobs and what they’d like their employers to do, and found some large gaps. Workers reported that companies generally satisfy their needs for on-the-job development and that they value these opportunities, which include high-visibility positions and significant increases in responsibility. But they’re not getting much in the way of formal development, such as training, mentoring and coaching – things they also value highly.”
Losing a key employee or even multiple employees for a nonprofit can be devastating to the attainment of strategic initiatives and its general operations. The time it takes to build new relationships with internal/external contacts and donors, as well as learning processes and procedures can create huge delays in accomplishing work. It can also create more work for those individuals still employed by the organization who have to pick up extra work or even put aside their own duties to assist with work left by the departed.
The result can be lost productivity, additional recruiting costs, time spent interviewing, time spent reorganizing work, etc. Just think that this may have been avoided with some targeted/desired employee training and development.
For example, at Synergy our clients are able to pick from over 40 types of employee training and development courses for all levels of employees, including supervisory/management training, at no cost. We offer courses in communication, time management, teamwork, etc. This is a benefit that we encourage all of our clients to take advantage of when working with us.
Employee training and development is critical to retain top performers — helping them grow their skills and demonstrating that the organization cares about their future. In selecting a PEO, it might be one of the benefits you look for.
So what has been your organization’s perspective of employee training and development? Has it been one of value or has it been one of cost? Either way you flip the coin, there is a cost of not providing employee training and development. While you think you may be saving money by striking it from your budget, you may just find you doubled or even tripled your cost by losing top performing employees.
A version of this article was originally posted on “Charitable Advisors” in 2015.