Why Bill Gates Values Employee Training – And You Should Too

Employee training is important. That said, it is an area where many businesses drop the ball.  The problem is especially common among small and medium-sized companies.  I hear the same excuses again and again:

“Too busy”

“Can’t afford it”

“Don’t need it”  

There are grains of truth to each of these statements.  Training employees does cost time and money.  And if you do it poorly, it may not get the results you are looking for.  But NOT training employees usually comes at a far greater cost.

Successful business leaders recognize that a skilled workforce is essential for business growth.

Bill Gates

Your business may be able to survive with an untrained, or under-trained, workforce.  In truth, many businesses do.  But those businesses do not thrive.  Ultimately, the consequences of not investing in your workforce can be crippling…

Lack of training = more mistakes and lower productivity

Employees make more mistakes when they are not properly trained. When you don’t know how to do things right, you invariably do more things wrong! And mistakes cost money.

In the best-case scenario, mistakes are caught and things end up having to be re-done.  In the worst-case scenario, mistakes go un-noticed. No one makes corrections.  Employees keep doing things wrong.  The quality of goods and services goes down. Brand reputation suffers.

Low customer satisfaction

We live in a competitive world.  Customers who are underwhelmed by your products or services move on.  And in today’s digital world, unhappy customers find it very easy to make their complaints public.  So when you disappoint or offend one person, you lose potential business from every person they shared their story with.

Employees need hard skills training so that they can perform their job tasks well (and safely). But they also need soft skills training in areas like positive communication, respect and inclusion, customer service, and support.

High employee turnover / high absenteeism

No one enjoys the feeling of being an underachiever.  Employees who feel unsure about their abilities are likely to be unhappy and disengaged with their work.

Likewise, employees who end up having to do more than their fair share are apt to be unhappy and disengaged.

In an unhappy workplace, morale is low.  This leads to higher rates of absenteeism and higher staff turnover.  Unhappiness is contagious and expensive!

Employee Training Fosters Innovation

An employee who is well-trained has the core competencies and confidence to do their job well.  They are more apt to be happy and to have a good attitude about their work.  A workplace filled with skilled, motivated employees naturally encourages and supports innovative thinking.

Conclusion: Employee Training Should Be A Priority

Training is an investment in your greatest resource – employees.  Over the long-term, companies that recognize the value of employee training thrive against their competitors.  It worked for Bill Gates and it can work for you!

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