Investment in Learning & Development

CFO asks CEO, “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”

CEO: “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”

An interesting conversation between the CFO and CEO that is often quoted from Peter Backlund as highlighting the relevance of training and development.

While most of the large organisations realize the importance of training, the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) still fail to recognize the benefits of employee training and development. These organisations restrict their training programmes to job specific, skill oriented and technical programmes which are essential to perform an employee’s current job. The other training they provide is safety training for legal compliance. Behavioural or managerial skills development programmes are given least importance, which is very significant and essential to build people skills of employees.

SMEs do not invest in employee training and development for a number of reasons; the most important being cost, then reluctance to spare employee time, and fear that employees will leave once they update their knowledge and skills.

What SMEs do not realize is that this myopic view heavily impacts organisational growth and performance. Good training and development empower employees. Opportunity for personal growth and development is one of the most highly rated attributes that employees look for in an organisation. Therefore, it is one of the best ways to motivate employees and retain them. Training and development increases employee loyalty and loyal employees are more productive and engaged. All this translates to greater competitive advantage and financial benefit to organisations.

(Blog by Vandana Madhavkumar)