employee training and development

Is it worth investing in training and developing employees?

Landing a job fresh out of university doesn’t spell the end of learning. On the job learning has always been a fact of working life, but in an age of technology, knowledge-based industries and an ever-expanding list of job titles, the need for continued training in the workplace has never been greater.

The question is, who is responsible for such training? Is it the responsibility of employees to invest in themselves or do employers have a role to play in the personal and professional training of their employees? If so, is it worth the investment?

What is personal and professional training?

Personal training falls into the realm of personal development. Personal development revolves around an individual’s overall growth. Personal training is centered around identity, potential, aspirations and achieving goals. Personal training focuses on skills that transcend all aspects of a person’s life, like communication skills, positive mindset, self-evaluation, conflict resolution and leadership skills.

Professional training involves the development of skills that directly relate to one’s job role and their workplace. Professional training may include training on a new software program or learning about a new product. Professional training enhances productivity by improving the way an employee can perform their role.

In the past, employers have often overlooked personal training, but research is showing that skills gained through personal training are increasingly valuable in the workplace today. Employers looking to invest in training for their employees should consider the positive outcomes of both personal and professional training.

Is personal and professional training important?

A lot of attention has been given to workplace training in recent years. Research continues to show that personal and professional training in the workplace is important. Benefits include:

Employee retention

  • Aon Hewitt found that employee training and development can make a workplace more appealing
  • 94% of employees would stay with an employer if it invested in their continued learning and development according to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report

Employee job satisfaction

  • Job satisfaction and an overall sense of fulfillment is achieved when training is provided to employees. According to research by Heartland Monitor Poll this is especially important for the millennial generation.

Increased productivity

  • Job satisfaction can lead to happy employees which in turn can increase productivity by 10 % according to research from the University of Warwick.
  • Employees who are equipped with the right skills to perform their job effectively can produce better results. 

What is the role of an employer?

Is it the responsibility of an employer to invest in personal and professional training for their employees? Based on the research, if you want to retain the best employees – yes. If you want happy and engaged employees – yes. If you want to increase productivity and improve your bottom line – yes!

It can be all too easy for employers to relegate the responsibility of personal training on the employee and provide professional training on a mechanical basis. In other words, employees know how to use a software program, or how a new product works, but fail to understand the bigger picture of how and why.

If employers want to create a thriving workplace then they have a responsibility to not only provide personal and professional training, but ensure it is effective.


Delivering the right training, finding time and training costs are among the biggest challenges faced by employers when it comes to providing personal and professional training.

Employers need to provide the right training. This means the right content, right format and learning mode. In our time poor society, finding the time for personal and professional training will be a challenge. Employers will need to be creative in order to prioritize training and avoid conflict with work tasks. Personal and professional training programs range in price from zero cost to thousands of dollars. Employers should consider the cost-benefit of any training program.

Measuring the effectiveness of personal and professional training initiatives is essential to determine how and where you should invest. This means measuring satisfaction and engagement, perhaps through anonymous surveys, monitoring attrition rates and evaluating changes in productivity as a result of training programs.

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