When creating lists on how to make employees more productive, many experts recommend training. LifeHack.org, for example, advises companies to “Train, train, and retrain.” Recruit Loop recommends, “Provide career growth opportunities.”
Because much of the success of any organization relies on the productivity of its workforce, employee productivity is an important consideration for all businesses. As a result, companies are constantly on the hunt for valuable insights on keeping their workforce productivity optimized.
But what is employee productivity exactly? The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) defines it as an assessment of the efficiency of a worker or group of workers. Productivity may be evaluated in terms of the output of an employee during a specific period of time. Typically, the productivity of a given worker will be assessed relative to an average for employees doing similar work.
According to the BLS, Americans spend 8.8 hours a day in the workplace. But are those hours productive? That is the question more companies are asking to ensure they meet their business goals. One way to keep employees productive, according to research, is to make sure they are well trained for their jobs.
Employee Training’s Impact on Productivity
According to LifeHack.org: “There is nothing worse than not knowing what to do. You feel lost, confused, and frustrated all at the same time. Everyone hates not knowing what to do. An employee is more likely to be productive when they understand what exactly is expected from them and they are given the training to perform such a task. Training gives confidence and confidence leads to employees that are productive.”
Recruit Loop shared the following advice: “If you really want someone to be a productive, contributing member of your team next year and the year after that, then offering career growth opportunities is a sure-fire way of making that happen. Career development enhances employees’ skill sets, which will further enrich your business. Training also communicates to employees that they are important members of the team who are expected to learn new and better ways to meet goals and objections.”
It’s not just experts declaring training as a productivity booster. Research also shows a clear correlation between employee training and productivity. When employees are engaged in their jobs and their strengths are valued and supported, it creates a culture that fosters high performance and greater productivity.
Strengths-based leadership has been identified as a core element of fostering employee optimism, engagement, and project performance — all of which lead to significantly higher productivity. Data from Gallup shows that teams that focus on strengths every day have 12.5 percent greater productivity.
Findings from these three studies also point to the power of employee training on productivity:
- The National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce (EQW) found in a study of more than 3,100 U.S. workplaces that on average, a 10 percent increase in workforce education levels led to an 8.6 percent gain in total productivity. Meanwhile, a 10 percent increase in the value of equipment increased productivity just 3.4 percent.
- A study by HR Mars found that it is important for organizations to get skilled and capable employees for better performance. Employees will be more competent when they have the knowledge and skill for executing their job tasks. Also, training provides opportunities for employees to make better career-life decisions, including getting promoted to better positions in the organization.
- A study by American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) showed that companies that invest the most in workplace learning yielded higher net sales per employee, higher gross profits per employee, and a higher ratio in market-to-book values.
6 Ways Training Boosts Employee Productivity
Here are six ways that training boosts employees’ job performance and productivity.
- Inspires New Employees. How you on-board employees sets the tone for their long-term productivity. Training new employees gets them off on the right foot by giving them a good sense of the business and job expectations. For all employees, having a mastery of the knowledge and skills for their job increases their satisfaction and confidence and, as a result, productivity.
- Reinvigorates Old Skills. Ongoing employee training helps cultivate talent from within your business. By retraining employees on current skills, you can increase productivity by preventing small, basic mistakes. This can also breathe new life into old tasks. Plus, retraining current employees is less expensive than hiring new ones.
- Gives Employees New Skills. By teaching employees new skills, you can give them a new sense of a purpose. It also lets them know that the organization is willing and able to evolve — and even offer them advancement opportunities.
- Raises Confidence Levels. Learning and maintaining skills can boost employees’ confidence. With greater confidence, they’ll enjoy a greater sense of value and enthusiasm on the job. This often translates into increased productivity.
- Supports a Performance-Based Culture. This inspires and motivates employees by giving them attainable goals to reach on a regular basis. However, your culture should also have a clearly defined definition of success. When employees know what they are reaching for, they are able to achieve it in an optimal way.
- Boosts Employee Satisfaction. Satisfaction is essential for a productive workplace. Employees are satisfied when they’re given the skills and knowledge they need to perform their duties optimally. Training is an important step in providing the skills your employees need to perform their best.
Clearly, productivity is a critical goal in today’s corporations. While there are many systems, process, and motivational tactics employers can use to boost productivity, companies should always remember the power of comprehensive, quality training to lay a foundation that supports the highest levels of productivity on a daily basis.