Why is training important for your business?

12 Feb, 2014



The challenges of training


In times of economic downturn, training and development has traditionally been one of the business areas most likely to be cut. One of the reasons for this is the difficulty of measuring and demonstrating the ROI of training. As it is not always tied directly to the product or service a company offers, its value can be difficult to measure in concrete terms and can often take time to have its desired effect. There are also many challenges in delivering consistent training across an organisation.


One of the main challenges that businesses face is cost. Training can be an expensive business, particularly when it is aimed at a global workforce. The cost of travel and practical difficulties in finding trainers with the relevant expertise and availability add to the challenge. Ensuring that training is standardised across a global organisation, where employees work and are trained in different locations, poses another challenge.


The cost of failing to provide effective training


Despite the cost and challenges of training, it remains an important area for businesses. Although the impact of employee training is not always immediate, lack of training often leads to employee dissatisfaction and a high turnover of staff. A recent study conducted by the Society of Petroleum Engineers found that 53% of professionals in the oil and gas industry would consider leaving their employer due to a lack of training, while 75% considered training to be important in their line of work.


Failure to provide effective training and the resulting high staff turnover can be costly to a business. A Training Mag article written by Dr Jack Riley suggests that, on average, companies in the U.S. face turnover costs of $18,990,810 ($13,355 on average per employee). The CIPD annual survey report for 2013 quotes the median recruitment cost of filling a vacancy in the UK as £5000 for senior managers and £2000 for other employees. 4/5 of employers experienced retention difficulties, showing an increase on previous years, and found that the main reason for difficulties in recruitment was a lack of skills in potential new employees. (1)


The benefits of training


53% of participants in the 2013 Kelly Global Workforce Index said that more training and skills development would increase their satisfaction or level of engagement at work. Furthermore, a study by the Middlesex University Institute for Work Based Learning found that 51% of employees felt that the main benefit of training was making them feel more valued, while 44% felt its main benefit was to make them more effective in their current role. The study also shows that 74% of workers feel that they’re not achieving their potential and want more training. With regard to Gen Y employees, 89% think it’s important to be constantly learning at their job. (2)


Training obviously has its benefits for employees in terms of learning new skills and developing existing knowledge. Nevertheless, it remains an important area for the development of an organisation as a whole. Dr Laurie Bassi, an economist and HR specialist, found that companies that invested above the average amount in per-employee training created more value for their business in terms of net assets than those spending below the average.

Immerse Learning’s virtual conference room

So why is training important for your company? Training:

  •  Improves employee performance and skills and makes an organisation more competitive
  • Aligns the goals and strategy of your company and maintains consistency across the organisation
  • Improves communication between management and staff, enabling greater productivity
  • Improves employee satisfaction and, accordingly, increases retention rates
  • Improves communication, motivation and strategy implementation amongst senior management


Online learning provides a good solution to the practical difficulties of training. It is flexible, cost-effective and allows organisations to deliver consistent training across their global workforce. However, one of the downfalls of e-learning is that it often lacks human interaction.


Immersive training, on the other hand, combines the best of online and face-to-face learning. It is flexible and enables organisations to train people around the world at the same time in the same space. Crucially, it also provides real, live interaction between teacher and student in realistic virtual environments such as meeting rooms or industry-specific scenarios like oil rigs or hospitals. The engaging nature of these environments also means that students enjoy learning and learn more quickly. What’s more, student engagement and progress can be measured to give a more accurate ROI.   Employee training is important for any company to retain a skilled and competitive workforce. ROI may not be immediately evident, however providing effective training to employees leads to higher employee retention and performance gain for companies.



(1) CIPD Annual survey report 2013: Resourcing and Talent Planning, pp 4-6

(2) Viacom’s MTV “No Collar Worker” Survey, Nov 2011, USA