10 Pros and Cons of Training Employees

Training a new employee is something most businesses take as a given process. You can’t expect someone to step into a new role on Day #1 and understand all of your expectations for them. They need to know about your company policies, procedures, and structures. Yet training employees can also be a very costly experience for many businesses.

How can you balance these two extremes? Being aware of the pros and cons of training employees is a great place to get started.

What Are the Pros of Training Employees?

1. It can reduce employee turnover rates.
Employees that are properly trained are workers that will feel more confident about their job. This confidence can translate into a lower employee turnover rate, especially if competitive pay and benefits are involved. At the very least, there is less overall frustration with the expectations placed upon workers when there are clearly communicated expectations and skill development opportunities provided.

2. Better training can reduce long-term staffing costs.
If you’re constantly training new employees, then you’re paying for more initial training costs. These costs are higher than long-term, ongoing training needs. By offering workers better training, you can improve their productivity and satisfaction. This allows you to then lower your long-term staffing costs because satisfied employees are less likely to seek out different employment.

3. It gets everyone onto the same page.
There will always be employees who “go rogue” on a company’s policies and procedures because they think their way is better. With adequate training that clearly communicates your expectations, you are more likely to get your workers onto the same page. You won’t be able to completely stop all of the rogue moments that happen, but you will be able to reduce them quickly and effectively.

4. There are opportunities to build a team.
People who go through a training together share a common bond. This bond then creates the relationships that are necessary for a team to co-exist in a meaningful way. A good training session does more than train someone to properly do their job. It also builds the foundation necessary for a team to be able to form the relationships necessary to maintain itself.

5. It’s an easy way to set clear expectations.
How many times have you heard, “But no one told me what I was supposed to do?” A good training session will outline all expectations for an employee and require them to sign off on the fact that they understood what was conveyed to them in some way – through testing, attendance records, or similar documentation.

What Are the Cons of Training Employees?

1. Employees can take their skills to a competitor.
If you’ve just spend thousands of dollars to train a new employee and they quit to go work for a competitor, then you’ve just financed the enemy. In an “At Will” environment, an employee can quit at any time for any reason and take their new skills elsewhere.

2. The costs of training never go away.
A general rule of thumb when it comes to training costs is that it will be 50% of that employee’s salary for the first year to get a new worker up to speed. Then there will be ongoing training costs, based on the worker’s position, that must also be paid. Training costs never go away, but they aren’t always properly budgeted.

3. Improper training creates improper results.
If an employee is not properly trained the first time around, then you’ve got to spend the money to properly train that worker a second time. There must be a high level of quality assurance and review placed on the initial training process to make sure productivity levels from new workers can be maximized.

4. Different people learn best in different ways.
Some people need to fiddle with things in order to learn new skills. Others may prefer a small group discussion. You might have a new employee who learns best with supervised practice of the new skills that are expected of them. Not every trainer is able to meet or even recognize the different needs that new workers may have.

5. It can create resentment.
If one worker feels like they received an inferior level of training compared to someone else on their team, then they can take that experience personally. Their negative energy can then create resentment amongst others who feel the same way.

The pros and cons of training employees show that this process is generally a positive experience. As long as the negative components of this process are accounted for, it can save you time and money in several different ways. That’s why it is a process that should always be considered.

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