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Employee Morale: How it Affects Your Company and How Training Can Help

Happy employees gathered at table

Tuesday, Apr 21st, 2020

It is easy to understand how morale can play a big role in any working environment, but what are some of the causes of low morale within a company?

According to a Gallup study, only 33% of U.S. employees are actively engaged at work, meaning the other 67% are not involved in or enthusiastic about their workplace. Unengaged and unproductive workers can create a negative working environment, causing other employees to feel their own engagement and productivity drop as well.

Many HR experts and business executives have discovered more employees are unhappy, and often leaving jobs, due to not feeling appreciated in their roles or not receiving training to help further their career. Feeling unappreciated can bring down an employee’s morale very quickly.

Low morale can lead to employees leaving, which can in turn lead to lower morale of remaining employees. Employee turnover is a dangerous cycle for any company to get involved in. It is important to keep workplace morale up to ensure the best possible working conditions.

How Do You Boost Morale in The Workplace?

Happy employee after training

When employees are happier, they are more actively engaged at work, are less likely to suffer the effects of workplace stress and display more loyalty to their employer.

Consider for a moment what you could do to boost employee morale. Things such as free food, team-building events outside the office or better benefits likely come to mind, all of which are among the most common ways employers look to raise office morale.

But have you considered the ways training could help? Most companies probably feel they provide employees with adequate on-the-job training. However, employees themselves are expressing the desire for more training opportunities. In a recent survey, 94% of employees would stay with an employer longer if the company invested in learning and development.

Employers often understand the immediate benefits of training — meeting compliance standards or checking off HR training boxes — but there are many underlying benefits that should not be overlooked, including how training can boost morale.

How Does Training Affect Employee Morale?

Some of the many benefits of employee training include:

  • Making employees feel valued
  • Decreasing turnover
  • Developing more-skilled workers
  • Increasing profit margin
  • Creating better company culture

While simply knowing of these benefits may be enough to encourage the implementation of more employee training, we will break down each one to further explore how training improves morale.

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Making employees feel valued

It is part of our nature as humans to want to feel valued and appreciated. This can come in many forms in the workplace, from something as simple as kind words to receiving annual bonuses. Another way to demonstrate you care is to invest in employee learning and development.

Helping your employees grow their skillset, for both on-the-job tasks and things like time management, proves you value not only the employee but the person as well. Employees who feel appreciated at work are more likely to be happier in the office, creating productive, engaged employees.

Decreasing turnover

Despite what many managers and executives may believe, employees often leave a job because of internal company issues. Creating an environment where people feel wanted and appreciated can help cut down on employee turnover.

One reason employees leave certain companies is to find the opportunity to develop existing skills and learn new ones. If your company can provide in-house training, it is likely these employees will want to stay and continue developing in the place that offered the ability to learn and grow.

Developing more-skilled workers

We are quickly moving toward a world where jobs are more dependent on, and sometimes completely eliminated by, technological and AI advancements. Instead of fearing the threat of being replaced, many workers see this as an opportunity to expand their skill set.

Of all workers surveyed in a 2018 study who said a job’s required skills were changing due to technological advancements, 73% have already added to their skillset and a staggering 80% of respondents would quit if their employer didn’t offer training on the newly required skills. It is obvious that employees not only welcome the opportunity to learn new skills, but actively desire it.

Increasing profit margin

Aside from the benefits employees receive from on-the-job training, it is also important to consider the effects on the business. A study by Deloitte found that 83% of executives and 84% of employees believe engaged workers are the top contributor to a company’s success. And as it turns out, investing in employee training generates direct benefits toward the company’s bottom line.

The American Society for Training and Development studied U.S.-based firms and learned those in the top quarter (that is, firms investing an average of $1,595 in training per employee) saw 24% higher gross profit margin than the bottom quarter of firms (who invested on average $128 per employee).

Creating better company culture

It is likely unsurprising to learn offering training to your employees can create a stronger company culture. When people feel appreciated and know there is an opportunity to gain valuable skills, and when the company itself is doing well, employees tend to be happier.

Likewise, creating a positive working environment helps people feel valued and engaged. Your goal should be to get your company into a cycle of having happy employees promoting a positive company culture and creating happy employees. Internal training could be an integral part of this process.

Why You Should Choose Online Training

Employee trained through e-learning

Once you decide to offer employee training, you must next decide how training will be implemented. While traditional, in-person training is still prevalent in many workplaces, online training is gaining in popularity for numerous reasons.

There are some factors to keep in mind that play a role in the success, or failure, of a traditional training program. Online training can solve each of these potential issues.

  1. Accessibility — Especially in the cases of larger companies, you may have employees across many different locations, or some may be in the office while others are in the field. In these situations, it may be difficult, or even impossible, to get all your employees in one location for training. Utilizing online training provides your team with a degree of flexibility regarding training. As long as an employee has internet access, training is available.
  2. Trainer competency — Many companies choose to have the HR department host training sessions. While this is efficient, it is possible the training will suffer due to a lack of knowledge on the training topic. If you choose to have another employee lead training, they may have the technical knowledge but may not have any training experience. On the other hand, bringing in an outside expert may be costly, both in time and money. With online training, you have the assurance all content is vetted by professionals and you don’t need a potentially costly on-site trainer to be present.
  3. Consistency of material — When training sessions are conducted across multiple locations, times and dates, or with multiple trainers, there is a very good chance the material will differ. Even if each session has the same standard material, how it is taught may vary based on the attendees in a particular session or the person leading the training. If you opt for online training, you know every employee will receive the exact same material, no matter where or when the training occurs.

Learning and Development Has Many Applications

Implementing comprehensive training for new hires as well as seasoned employees is important in creating an inclusive environment. While existing employees may only require refresher training and new employees will likely need more in-depth lessons, you should never neglect any level of training.

New hires are especially receptive to training, as it is often the first look into a company and its culture. A recent study determined 76% of employees felt on-the-job training was crucial during the onboarding process. Additionally, 21% of new hires who left a job shortly after the first day noted receiving effective training may have kept them from quitting.

However, it is not only the crucial job skills employees want to be trained on. More and more employers are seeing the value of offering training on soft skills, such as teamwork, active listening or problem solving.

Don’t miss out on the numerous benefits of offering employee training. See how the online training solutions from SafetySkills can help you easily make the transition to creating happier employees and a more productive working environment.

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