If money is tight and raises just aren’t feasible, there’s another way to show employees that they’re valued: train them to do more.
It might sound a tad illogical but, according to a study done by The Centre of Applied Economics Studies of the Atlantic, receiving employer-provided training actually increases employees’ job satisfaction as much as receiving a 17.7% raise.
And when you think about it, it makes sense. The chances of employees seeking better opportunities when the job market opens up are only increasing, so now’s a good time to show them you have faith in their ability to take on more and prove themselves.
Rieva Lesonsky, founder and CEO of GrowBiz Media, shared some pointers on OpenForum on how to implement the right type of training program in this type of situation, while also keeping employees from jumping ship with their new skills.
Ask them what they want to do
Don’t assume the only person interested in coding is sitting in your IT department. By that same logic, don’t assume younger employees don’t want (or need) more hands-on training with social media, or that older employees can’t be bothered with learning new technology.
More and more employees are seeing the benefits of having a jack-of-all-trades attitude and it’s safe to assume some of them would be very excited at the idea of learning a new skill. So, ask them point blank: What would you like to learn more about?
Be flexible with training options
If this is going to be an incentive for an employee, it needs to work for them. Some employees learn better individually, while others learn better in a group. Take everything into account when planning a training program and find a way to accommodate everyone’s different styles.
Reward the training
The idea of giving additional training to employees might scare some business owners. After all, if you’re giving them free training in an area other than their specialty, you’re just making them look more attractive to a different employer, right?
Actually, not so — if you’re willing to reward employees’ time and effort. A Wall Street Journal study found on-the-job training made employees more loyal to their employers only if they saw chances for advancement at the company.
But the study also notes that “advancement” doesn’t necessarily mean “promotion.” It could include job rotation, lateral moves, new assignments or mentoring.
Bottom line: Make sure employees are using their new skills in some capacity after training. Their future with your company will seem much brighter upon doing so.
When times are tight and raises aren’t feasible, what does your company do to reward workers? Have you had success with training programs? Let us know in the comments.