With the average cost of training an employee resting at $1,252, are you getting your money’s worth, or is training an undue strain on your budget? Well, don’t go cutting costs quite yet. While some might consider it an unnecessary cost, those that understand the market will see that “up-skilling” their employees on a regular basis is not only crucial to staying relevant in business but also fundamental when it comes to growing revenue.
In a podcast interview on Revenue Growth University, Dr. Amy Cook, VP of marketing at Simplus, and Jake Boyd, director of training and education programs at Simplus, discuss how business leaders can and should change their perspective on internal education and training. Both of them agree that in today’s tech world, if you’re not investing in some form of education and constantly building new skills, you’re going to fall behind. And for employees and companies to stay competitive, they need to make sure their employees are continuing to learn.
“This especially rings true for tech-consulting companies,” Boyd said. “People are our product. So if you think about it, an investment in our people is actually an investment in our product. Training for employees in a service company is like a software upgrade for a SaaS company.” With Cook, he answered questions about the revenue-producing benefits of training programs, how tech companies can measure learning, onboarding’s effects on retention, the value of traditional education, and the use of Simplus University.
Question: “What are some specific benefits of internal training programs that produce more revenue?”
“If training is done well,” said Boyd, “and it’s not usually done well, but when it is done well, it can make your employees more productive and bring in more revenue for the same amount of hours. So your workforce will be better at their jobs and spend less time doing it.”
Question: “How does a tech company measure learning?”
“In our industry of Salesforce consulting and advising, Salesforce certifications are a key indicator of employee growth and understanding,” said Boyd. “So much so that Simplus invested in a learning management software and created Simplus University. And I am proud to say that Since October 2017, we’ve added nearly 700 Salesforce certifications, which is a little over a 400 percent increase. That is pretty incredible gains.”
“I love the culture aspect that it brings,” said Dr. Cook. “I love when the company celebrates someone for getting a new certification. I love when everyone gets excited about showcasing how much employees are learning. It has really created a culture of learning for us here at Simplus.”
“And that is a significant contributing factor to employee retention,” said Boyd. “It costs a lot of money to bring in new employees and onboard them. And it’s been shown that professional development is in the top factors for job satisfaction and retention in many workplace studies.”
Question: “How does onboarding affect retention?”
“Good onboarding is paramount to retaining an employee,” said Boyd. “It’s an employee’s initial impression of the company. That impression goes a long way. It’s fundamental in how they view their role and how they view their growth in that role. All of that contributes to welcoming culture where they feel prepared to succeed.”
Question: “How important is a traditional college education right now for some of these technologies?”
“I was originally a teacher,” said Boyd. “So I’m biased towards the more traditional education systems. But honestly, the way that current, more traditional education systems are structured, it hasn’t really caught up with the demands of these tech jobs. Technology is rapidly changing, and the skills required to be successful are constantly changing as well. I think there is a big gap in education, especially in the tech sector, which is why you see a lot of technical boot camps popping up like Lynda.com. Salesforce has a number of boot camps as well. And now, so do we.”
Question: “Is it worth investing in building something like Simplus University in house?”
“Simplus University takes a page from apprenticeship programs in the trades,” said Boyd. “There’s a model where you study under a master, and there is a period where you are going through intensive training but producing actual work as well. And this model works great for IT consulting. And in addition to all the financial benefits of having an in-house university, there’s a lot of social benefits that come from it as well, especially in the Salesforce Ecosystem for us. So yes, I would say it’s very worth it.”
Learning shouldn’t stop after onboarding and initial training is complete, but companies should provide many resources for the employees throughout their entire journey. To hear more from Boyd and Dr. Cook, click here to listen to the full podcast on Revenue Growth University.