The term “employee wellness” gets tossed around so often nowadays, it’s almost become a meaningless buzzword. Especially for enterprise businesses, it’s growing absolutely vital to ensure that your business is perceived as prioritizing employees’ personal wellness and professional development.
As a personal wellness advocate, I’m definitely a fan of this. But I’m always surprised to see that many enterprise businesses don’t list offering employee training as a key benefit specifically with regards to support for employees’ professional and personal development.
Many enterprise businesses discuss yoga programs, mindfulness app subscriptions, or other benefits when it comes to demonstrating their commitment to their employees’ wellness. But for some reason, prioritizing employee training doesn’t often make the cut.
The benefits of employee training for enterprise businesses are clear. “More skills invariably improve both the quality and quantity of employees’ work,” notes WalkMe’s overview of employee training. “Yet training also increases employee engagement levels and reduces turnover.” In other words, you get a better trained workforce, allowing you to source new talent based on potential rather than only proven skills at the outset.
The costs are also apparent, and typically calculated in terms of business expenses: the cost of purchasing the course, monitoring performance, and even incentives for employees to complete the programs.
Again, rarely do I see the costs of weak employee training discussed from a wellness and development perspective. When you don’t offer your employees the options to improve themselves and develop their skills, that loss is felt at the enterprise business level, but also at the personal wellness level for your employees.
Let’s get into discussing the benefits of employee training, why it should matter to enterprise businesses, and how to make it a priority moving forward.
Employee training impacts employee wellness
Naturally it’s in a business’s best interest to make sure their employees are productive and performing their best. Employee training plays a big role in that, not just through teaching skills that make employees feel and work better, but oftentimes through more indirect methods, too.
For one, offering employee training fosters positive relationships based on trust and investment. Jody Stolt, a training director, puts it excellently. “From the start, employers must engage with employees and earn mutual trust through experience and agreement on core values,” she says.
It’s also an answer to a plague many enterprise businesses may not even know they’re subject to: imposter syndrome. Even if you see a force of truly excellent workers, it’s likely that over 41% don’t actually believe they’re good enough. This affects productivity, motivation, and can even lead to burnout.
Offering employee training offers enterprises a way to head that off, letting employees continue pursuing their development and, along with it, their confidence.
Deep down, most people want to be better tomorrow than they are today. When you meet that need, you empower them to be happier individuals and employees. Indeed, “personal development is essential to the highest levels of professional development,” writes Kyle Goguen, founder and president of Pawstuck.
Deliver clear and obvious paths to self-improvement, and watch your enterprise flourish.
Wellness as more than lip service
Enterprise businesses obviously care about profit, but employee wellness should be right up there in your list of priorities, too. Often it pays to be nice, and employee wellness and enterprise success go hand in hand. Businesses that make it obvious that they truly care about their employees enjoy higher performance than those who don’t.
What’s more, the best talent is on the lookout for employers who care about them, and if you don’t demonstrate it, they’ll flock to the company who does.
Employee training is one of the best ways to tackle both employee wellness and business in a single go. For example, Gallup’s State of the Global Workforce report showed that businesses who offer employee training benefit from reduced turnover. This also helps employees stay in a job they enjoy, reducing the stress of change, and making them more productive.
Furthermore, employee training is a great way to improve employee productivity by motivating them and inspiring them. The truth is, managers can only impact their employee’s output through motivation and training – brute force just doesn’t do the job like it used to.
What’s more, employee training is one of the most straightforward ways to cultivate leadership talent at your organization. Good leadership is extremely hard to come by, and enterprises have two ways of getting it: hiring externally, or promoting internally. Internal promotion comes with a whole host of benefits for both business and employee – people get to work with leaders they’re used to; it demonstrates a commitment from the existing leadership team to foster upwards growth in the company.
And finally, as mentioned above, employees want to work somewhere that’s inspiring. By helping their employees develop themselves personally as well as professionally, enterprise organizations can demonstrate their commitment to not just profit, but also a positive impact on society.
Making training a priority
Sure, training is beneficial to everyone involved, but at the end of the day, it’s still training. If you want your organization and employees to derive the highest wellness benefits, there are plenty of pitfalls you will need to avoid.
First, remember that you don’t want to make this a burden or a stressor. Your company can easily accomplish this simply by blocking time out for your employees to complete the training. Time blocking makes it clear they’re not expected to fit ongoing work and training into the same time period – and helps underline the importance you place on their personal and professional development.
Secondly, personalize the approach. Personalization is everywhere for consumers nowadays, and for companies to successfully skill up their workforce, it’s paramount to think of employees as consumers of the training, as Accenture writes in their 2018 report on the topic of personalization.
Finally, determine what employee training makes the most sense for you to offer. Soft skills, for example, are the highest priority for 2020 and beyond, according to LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report. By ensuring your organization seriously considers what skills it values most in employees and helping them achieve those, your enterprise will be that much closer to success.
Skill improvement that unlocks wellness
In conclusion, enterprise businesses should recognize that offering employee training is one of the best actions to be taken to help their employees’ wellness, but also their bottom line. By neglecting to develop a proper program, or by not emphasizing the wellness aspects, they are doing a disservice to themselves and their employees.
Companies should focus on understanding what they and their employees can gain from a properly formed employee training and development program, and watch how drastically their employee wellness can improve.