Learning and Development

The Importance of a Corporate Training Program

In today’s challenging business climate, investing in employee learning and development is critical to a company’s success and survival. Outsourcing training might just be the answer to all your corporate training needs.

The Importance of a Corporate Training Program
Editorial Team
February 14, 2022
The Importance of a Corporate Training Program

With today's workplace in a state of constant flux, a corporate training program to upskill the workforce is a survival requisite for employees and employers. Most employees expect learning and development (L&D) opportunities at their workplace, in the absence of which they are willing to look for those benefits elsewhere. A corporate training program helps employees gain knowledge, improve their skills or learn new ones, perform their tasks better, and gain confidence. For employers, a training program is perhaps the best way to improve employee productivity and engagement, retain talent, and remain relevant and profitable.

Corporate training can be challenging for any business, big or small. Your employees have different roles, abilities, and experiences. A one-size-fits-all approach is never the solution. What all organizations must aspire to is a well-rounded corporate training program that impacts every single employee. As we step into a new year and a new normal shaped by the pandemic, this is the perfect time for businesses to sharpen their focus on employee development. As they say, people are a company’s greatest asset.

What corporate training looks like

Corporate training programs cover a wide range of skills, including:

Typical methods or mediums of corporate training include:

  • Traditional instructor-led classroom training
  • Online training or e-learning
  • Blended learning (a mix of online and classroom training)
  • On-the-job learning
  • Mentoring programs
  • Apprenticeships
  • New employee training
  • Individual study

Many companies offer in-house training, but more and more are outsourcing their learning and development programs. This means that they are hiring external experts/companies to manage and deliver training to their employees (more on this later).

From soft skills to technical training, check out Learnit to find a class that fits your learning needs. 

Why invest in employee training and development?

A skilled workforce is the future of our business landscape. To stay relevant, companies must train their staff, offer them opportunities for development and advancement, and make sure the learning never stops. An effective corporate training program is well worth the time, money, and effort spent on it. Here’s why:

It improves employee performance

Workplace learning goes beyond teaching employees new technologies and helping them develop new skills. It equips employees to better understand their responsibilities and what their employer expects of them. Corporate training and development also makes employees more knowledgeable about the industry they work in, and increases their awareness of safety practices and other compliances that are critical to getting the job done right. Employees who receive training are more efficient. They are also more confident of their abilities, which in turn increases their enthusiasm for work and pushes them to do better. It’s no wonder that in a 2019 survey by The International Journal of Business and Management Research, 90% of employees agreed that training and development helped them improve job performance.

It boosts employee engagement

Corporate learning and development is a key driver of employee engagement. It makes employees feel valued and recognized by their employers, thus eliminating workplace boredom and idleness and creating job satisfaction. Absenteeism is 41% lower and productivity 17% higher in organizations with highly engaged employees, says a Gallup report. The report adds that “engaged employees produce better business outcomes than other employees do – across industries, company sizes, and nationalities, and in good economic times and bad.”

It retains talent

Closely linked to employee engagement is employee retention. Currently, only 36% of US employees (and 20% globally) are engaged in their workplace. Lack of engagement is one of the main reasons why millions of Americans have quit their jobs in recent months in what has been called The Great Resignation. With engagement levels this low, organizations can never be sure that their star performers are not looking for opportunities elsewhere. Apart from the obvious loss of talent, a rash of resignations can be brutal for a company’s financial health. The Work Institute’s 2020 Retention Report says voluntary employee turnover costs US businesses more than $630 billion a year. Companies cannot hope to keep their turnover costs low and their talent pool intact without an effective training program that boosts employee motivation and opens up opportunities for promotion and career progression. LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report 2019 says 94% of employees would stay longer at a company that invests in their learning and development.

It develops future leaders

Leadership development is a key component of a corporate training program. With an effective leadership development program, an organization has a healthy bench of future leaders to fall back on and can fill senior positions with skilled professionals from within the organization. Furthermore, leadership development allows organizations to focus on future goals and make succession plans. For employees, receiving leadership development training means that they get to nurture their natural abilities and actively plan for promotions and advancement rather than wait for opportunities to come their way. This increases their engagement with the organization and they will likely go on to shoulder the responsibility of training the next generation of leaders.

It improves company culture

Encouraging employees to learn while they work, giving them opportunities to improve and advance, and recognizing their hard work and accomplishments significantly improves company culture. According to LinkedIn Learning’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report, employees – especially younger employees – are more inclined to spend time learning if their efforts are recognized by their managers. A learning culture propels a company’s overall culture. Employees who receive training are more likely to view their employers positively. This enhances the employer’s reputation and brand and helps them attract and retain talent. All in all, corporate learning and development makes for a positive company culture.

Outsourcing training: The advantages

What if your company doesn’t have a dedicated training department or lacks the technical expertise to develop training material? Perhaps you have diverse training needs. Or maybe, you require short-term training every now and then instead of a regular and steady training program. In these situations, the best solution is to outsource the training to external experts, and many organizations are doing just that. According to Statista, 45% of US companies outsourced learning in 2020. In the same year, American companies spent an average $417,375 on training outsourcing, up from $378,490 in 2019, says the 2020 Training Industry Report. The report adds that outsourcing took up 11% of the training budget in 2020, an increase from 8% the year before.

While in-house training has its own advantages – it can be easily aligned to a company’s business goals, for example – there are five distinct benefits to outsourcing training: 

1. Lower operational cost

Cost reduction is the primary objective of any type of outsourcing, according to the Deloitte Global Outsourcing Survey 2020. Outsourcing training is particularly useful for companies with L&D budget constraints. Hiring an external expert eliminates the expenses associated with developing an in-house training program, such as equipment and software costs, salaries and benefits for staff, and so on. It is more cost-effective to hire an external training provider, which usually has a base program that can be customized to your needs. The money saved can be invested in other areas of your business.

2. Time-saving

Outsourcing is a viable option when a company is on a tight deadline to, say, train its staff for a product launch or to bring them up to speed on new policies and procedures. Most training providers have streamlined processes and can come up with the right training material and deliver it quickly and efficiently. They are also less hampered by the delays and challenges that in-house training development often comes with.          

3. Access to specialists

Training needs differ from department to department, employee to employee. Most organizations don’t necessarily have the expertise to cater to the niche learning requirements of each sector or employee. Outsourcing allows businesses access to specialist trainers with strong backgrounds in specific skills. Their knowledge of industry trends and effective learning methods makes them your best choice in the absence of an in-house expert. Moreover, in-house training programs tend to use the same approach, often making participants bored and inattentive. In comparison, external trainers bring their own perspectives, making no two programs the same. 

4. Arsenal of learning methods

Outsourcing training to a company that specializes in corporate learning and development means access to its wide variety of learning methods. Learnit, for example, offers interactive, live instructor-lead virtual workshops both publicly for individuals and privately for companies. You can supplement your instructor-led courses with a Learnit Anytime subscription that gives you access to our comprehensive catalog of on-demand e-learning courses. Additionally, Offsite by Learnit provides a community of learning with interactive free events. When employers outsource training, they can be assured that their employees are learning in the ways that suit them best and at a pace, time, and location convenient to them. From classroom learning to interactive workshops or a blend of both, the learning experience never gets dull. What’s more, employees can make the most of training programs curated by experts, which can be personalized on demand. Additionally, they receive valuable networking opportunities as they get to interact with professionals from diverse fields. Outsourcing, thus, allows organizations to turn their corporate training program into a more effective and holistic way of learning.

5. Geographical edge

Outsourcing makes it easy for businesses to carry out company-wide upgrades and changes across a wide geographical area. It allows you to work with professionals who can deliver the required training to participants in a specific location in the language and method they prefer, while also keeping cultural norms in mind. What’s more, the job gets done on time and you save on travel expenses.