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Report: Training leads to Happier Employees and Cost-savings for the Business

Date:
April 13, 2021
Author:
Alec Olson

Training leads to happier employees, report shows.

Talent recruitment, employee morale, stress and burnout — and on the flipside, happiness — all tie back to the level of training IT professionals receive.  

According to Global Knowledge’s annual IT Skills and Salary Report, 45% of IT decision-makers globally cite talent recruitment and retention as their leading problem, with as many as 32% also sharing that they struggled with employee morale.   

The report shows that IT professionals work at unsustainable rateswith productivity continually slipping with a widening skill gap to blame.  

The Work Institute found similar results in its 2020 Retention ReportWhat’s more, the cost to businesses is staggering.  

The Retention Report found that voluntary turnover totaled $630 billion to businesses in 2019, with the leading factor being career development. 

When an employee quits, these are the consequences: disrupted work schedules, project delays, onboarding, and moreThese all have a cost to the business.  

Successful IT leaders addressed these issues last year by investing more in training. The 2020 report shows 56% of IT decision-makers plan to invest more in training to close skill gaps, compared to a dismal 39% the year prior.  

However, this investment isn’t only to close gaps on the team; the effects ripple outward.  

Training benefits IT professionals, as well as the companies they serve in these ways: 

  • Closes skills gap 
  • Improves productivity 
  • Reduces employee turnover 
  • Improves morale 

   

When IT teams have the skills needed for projects big and small, they become more effective, happier employees — reducing retention problems, and the negative costs to business 

In this article, we offer insights and tips that can help employees and managers alike create a better (happier) workplace

 

To Combat Turnover, IT Leaders Should Invest in Training 

When employees feel good about what they do — and can do — not only do their managers look like a hero because the team flourishes despite the business’ demands, but the company benefits as well.   

The opposite is true when employees don’t have the backing needed to further their careers and feel like they’re making an impact 

  • High turnover 
  • Job apathy 
  • Slipping productivity 

 

High turnover rates can cost companies nearly $30,000 per employee. (Now think about the cost of training an employee. That $2,000 course doesn’t sound as expensive anymore, does it?) 

A lack of growth opportunities is one of the leading reasons why employees across departments leave. It's no different for IT. 

“Attrition has always been costly for companies, but in many industries the cost of losing employees is rising, due to tight labor markets and the increasingly collaborative nature of jobs,” writes Brian Kropp, Gartner HR practice group vice president, in an article. “If employees don’t see you investing in their future with you, they’re going to look somewhere else.” 

Up to 40% of employees who leave their roles say a lack of career development is at fault, according to Global Talent Monitor’s report on workforce activity. 

An even more concerning trend was found in the IT Skills and Salary Report by Global Knowledge. Most (80%) IT leaders in North America say they experience skill gaps on their teams. The same trend shows internationally.  

What this means is there aren’t enough people available with the right skillsets to meet the needs of the organization.  

It also means IT professionals aren’t getting the chance to level up their skills. 

The consequences of these trends could manifest in a cyberattack or data breach, poorly constructed IT infrastructure, and increasing stress levels among employees. These consequences come needlessly as solutions to these challenges remain available to IT leaders. 

What’s a leading solution to happier employees and better business outcomes? 

Successful organizations understand they’re only as good as their people which is why they invest in training.  

IT decision-makers authorized more training in the last 12 months, according to the IT Skills and Salary Report. For those organizations that retain a training program, up to 80% of IT leaders authorized ongoing professional development for their staff. 

This positive trend continues in spite of slimmed or stagnated budgets. In North America, over half (53%) of IT managers say their budget was cut or stayed the same. And yet, the importance of training persists. 

Advocating for training might seem like a hard sell to your boss during lean times, but the costs of not training are far worse:  

  • Productivity loss 
  • Wider skills gaps 
  • Increasing turnover  
  • Low employee morale 

 

With budget constraints, high workloads, and more, it’s understandable that adding yet another task to anyone’s plate will break the camel’s back. Plus, it’s hard to know what certifications to pursue. (We’ve helped with that. See this article.) 

However, it cannot be stressed enough that the dividends earned from training will pay off.  

PRO TIP: If you’re in ITtrying to acquire new skills or certifications, consider these five tips for securing training at work:  

 

    1. Build a case. Communicate how and why new skills or certifications will benefit the business and add value to the team. 

    2. Get insight from leadership. With so much going on, training might not make it onto an IT leader’s radar. Start by bringing the challenges to his or her attention.  

    3. Make time for training. Think of all the new technology that has rolled out over the past year. Now think of all the time you’ve had to research itThere are always fires put out and tickets to close, but it’s important to slow down to move fast.  

    4. Tie it back to the business. What will a new skillset or certification save the business? Could resources stay in house? Or, could IT make a significant cut in hours spent troubleshooting? Quantify it.

    5. Anticipate objections. Expect to hear about budget and time constraints. But as mentioned earlier in this article, the costs of not training far exceed the cost of a bootcamp or an on-demand course in the long run. 

 

Achieving Better Business Outcomes Starts with Happy Employees 

It’s important to combat retention issues by enabling employees to become better at their jobs through ongoing professional development, namely through training and skills building. 

IT has a lot on its plate: securing the business, improving employee experiences, and keeping operations going. But at some point, it will all come to a grinding halt when people leave the business and take their skills with them.   

To close the growing skills gap and create a happier IT team, IT managers must consider the numerous benefits of training their existing staff, especially as they wrestle with finding outside resources to fill gaps on the team, battling attrition, and keeping pace with the day-to-day. 

“Happy employees are more loyal, and loyal employees are more productive,” writes Sean Little, in the SHRM Blog. “Virtually all employees will be happier if employers express a genuine interest in helping them develop the skills that they will need to advance their careers. 

Global Knowledge continues to study the IT landscape to help professionals across industries and disciplines achieve better results at work through ongoing education and training. This year’s IT Skills and Salary Report surveyed more than 9,500 IT professionals across the globe to learn their challenges, successes, and more.   

Download the entire report today to better understand how to develop a well-equipped team that can improve your organization.  

 

Learn More About How Training Benefits Business