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Ideas that work: Is your organization working to its potential?

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Mark Banning

Mark Banning

Mark Banning

[Publisher’s note: This article was provided by Blackbaud, a maker of fundraising software. Blackbaud is a PJ business partner.]

Does your organization view training as an optional expense or an investment?

Often seen as a burdensome cost, training programs that deliver measureable results are a worthy investment for a number of reasons.
We all know our team members are what make us great.

But did you know that employees at organizations with inadequate training programs plan to leave for another opportunity within 12 months, as opposed to those at organizations that provide excellent training and comprehensive professional development programs?

A company that invests in its employees is not only spending wisely on those individuals, but also investing in the future of its mission.

Even in economically challenging times, we all need to find ways to keep watering our “oak trees.”

Five ideas that organizations can put to work, today:

  • Make succession planning a key element of your organization’s employee-retention strategy. Create a plan to develop employees by educating them in different facets of the organization and the industry. All new employees should have a mentor.
  • Whether it be a formal or informal program, mentorship is an important component of employee comfort. Knowing that a new employee has someone to turn to either at their level or at a higher level eases them into the day-to-day processes of the organization.
  • There are plenty of inexpensive or free distance-learning opportunities out there. It doesn’t take much research to find the many options; and the best part is that the employees can do it right from their desk. Give them an hour on the clock, and they come away with valuable information that will surely help productivity and effectiveness.
  • Ask employees to challenge the process. Don’t get caught up in procedures that are old; encourage them to think of different ways to be more efficient.
  • Most importantly, develop a working environment that will support creativity and professional development. Empower an employee to seek educational tools, from distance learning and webinars to conferences and training courses. An employee who feels empowered to bring back knowledge and apply new things will feel appreciated and want to make a difference within the organization.

The bottom line is that the cost of replacing and recruiting a skilled employee range from $75,000 up to nearly $500,000.

Adding the cost of training that new employee and the time it takes to get them comfortable in their role makes it quite apparent that we should all do everything we can to retain our team members, especially our best.

In this economy, it is important to note that companies in the top quarter of training expenditure per employee experience higher profit margins than companies that spend less per year on developing their people.

With the right tools, every employee can make a positive impact on an organization’s bottom line.

It doesn’t take a ton of time or money to implement these steps, and it will certainly show a big return in operational efficiency, employee morale and loyalty.

Keep investing in your staff, and they will reward you with loyalty and enhanced performance.


Mark Banning is director of educational services at Blackbaud.

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