Dollars and Sense: The Business Rationale for Training

By Shanna Germain

If you’re in the specialty coffee business, you probably know a great deal about employee training. You’ve read articles, you understand the reasoning, and you likely have a system set up to train new and continuing employees. Chances are good that you also agree with the philosophy that says that having well-trained employees makes for a happier employee, a better customer experience and, ideally, better coffee.

But do those things equate to a better business, strictly in terms of dollars and cents? Is the time, money and effort that it takes to train your employees really worth it for your bottom line? And how do you track that money that goes out versus the money that comes in?

When it comes to training employees, it’s much easier for a business to track the money that goes out than the money that comes back. And there is a lot of money going out—according to the American Society for Training and Development’s (ASTD) 2008 State of the Industry report, U.S. organizations spent $134.07 billion on employee learning and development. The majority of that money—nearly 80 billion—was spent on internal learning processes, like staff salaries and development costs. The remainder went to external services like workshops and events.

That’s hardly chump change. So what does the cost-benefit analysis look like when it comes to training? And how does the measure up against your bottom line?

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