Here’s Why L&D Investments Should Take Top Priority

It’s no secret that it’s expensive to find and hire new talent. In 2013, the average cost to recruit a fresh college grad was a whopping $3,639. If a company hires just five graduates in a year, their recruitment costs could exceed $18,000. If a hire turns out to be the wrong fit, then your company is out 2.5 times the recruit’s annual salary, between lost recruitment, training, and replacement hire costs.

Now you’re in the thick of 2016 budgets, and it’s time to decide how much to allocate to talent recruitment and other areas. While you might have doled out a larger proportion of your budget to recruitment in the past, consider taking a new approach this year: Provide ongoing learning and development opportunities to your existing staff to cut turnover and reduce your overall costs.

The benefits of L&D as top priority.

Learning and development should be your top priority this year. Here’s why:

  1. Employees who are happy with their training are happier at work. There’s a significant correlation between work training and workplace satisfaction. Give your employees the tools they need to constantly improve at their jobs and they’ll appreciate their workplace better.
  2. Better L&D means less turnover. It costs about 20% of an employee’s annual salary to replace her, not counting the sunken cost of recruiting and training, so it makes more sense to keep her on board. It takes time to find and train a replacement, and it takes time for her replacement to become productive enough to do her job. Offer your team interesting challenges and the opportunity to advance their professional skills through continuing L&D. The promise of opportunity keeps your employees happy and on board.
  3. It benefits your bottom line. Cheesecake Factory spends $2,000 per employee on L&D each year and has gross sales twice as high as the restaurant industry’s average. In addition to cutting costs, you’ll see your employees work more efficiently as a result of the extra professional development time, which helps your bottom line even more.

Make sure that L&D proves its value.

Implementing L&D haphazardly won’t help your case unless you do your research first and make sure that you’re doing it right. Use these strategies to make sure that your L&D implementation results in a hefty return on your investment.

  1. Embrace mobile eLearning. Mobile devices in the workplace are increasingly commonplace. Use that to your advantage and let your employees train from their devices, wherever they are. Better yet, make sure that your mobile devices are loaded with dynamic content that updates as quickly as you need it to.

    Your team’s L&D needs are constantly changing, so dynamic content delivery is a must-have that saves you countless dollars spent on re-issuing updated training binders and static PDFs. Compared to alternatives, eLearning is time-saving and cost-saving.

  1. Focus on learning goals and outcomes. Set goals for your L&D strategy, and use software that lets you track how your employees utilize the training content so that you know whether you’re meeting those goals or need to rethink your strategy.

    The right software lets you track multiple metrics to see how your content is being utilized so that you can understand what’s working and what isn’t. Measure content performance as well as outcomes, evaluate your progress toward meeting goals, and tweak your content accordingly.

  2. Enable employees to train independently. Employees have a full plate at work most days, with daily duties, client-facing time, corporate meetings, and more. Instead of cramming learning and development into an eight-hour work day, give your employees an opportunity to access what they need, when they need it—whether that’s in the thick of a meeting or after hours on the couch.

    Move away from a structured curriculum to give your team access to in-depth resources that they can draw from as they need them, based on their current projects or needs. This “just-in-time” content is flexible and requires only moments to locate pertinent information, which beats spending five minutes scrolling through an ancient PDF.

Employees are more fickle than ever, but there is a remedy for today’s fast-to-fly workforce. Provide them with the tools and opportunity to grow their knowledge and their role, keep them on board, and watch your recruitment and training costs plummet.