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Staff Leadership and Management

Staff Training is Worth the Investment

Invest in professional development & training at the BOOST Conference

It was Monday, April 27th, and I was catching up on Diego Arancibia’s latest Breakfast Club Blog Post.

If you haven’t taken the time to read it, you should. Diego gives us 7 Ways to Maximize Our BOOST Experience. It was perfect advice for an amazing conference. Of course, I am biased as I am total BOOST Fanboy! But seriously, today I want to discuss the post-BOOST experience.

After returning to the office, I typically get the smiles and the “had a good time in Palm Springs, huh?” comments. I smile obligingly and laugh inside. I share time and time again that going to BOOST is more than just having a good time, it is an investment in my own professional development. But some people learn the hard way, right? Anyway, I thought I would break it down and hopefully give people a solid business case for continuing to support their own professional development.

Benjamin Franklin once said:

An investment in education always pays the highest returns.

He didn’t specify the exact type of education, he just shared that investing in learning pays off. Let’s compare this with something Zig Ziglar said:

What’s worse than training your workers and losing them? Not training your workers and keeping them.

I love both of those quotes!

So many companies and organizations will not invest in their own employees for fear of losing them to better employment. What kind of message does that send about that type of organization? Hmmmm…. More often than not, organizations are hesitant to invest in training because of the cost. I find this in particular with our field. In the out-of-school time profession, every dollar counts.

Not all of our organizations have secure funding, so we are constantly assessing our priorities. As we do that, I challenge you to look to a solid Return on Investment analysis to determine the best bang for your buck. For me, that is attending and sending members of my team to the BOOST Conference.

Why should we pay for face-to-face, diversified training when we could subscribe to an online model?

When things are said and done, you would think the results would be the same, right? Training is training after all and the live training may cost $1500 compared to a $125 subscription.

According to the American Society of Training & Development (now rebranded as the Association for Talent Development), firms that invest $1,500 per employee in training compared with those that spend $125 experience an average of 24 percent higher gross profit margins and 218 percent higher revenue per employee (source: Laurie J. Bassi et al., “Profiting From Learning: Do Firms’ Investments in Education and Training Pay Off?” American Society for Training and Development, 2000). While that is a business comparison, imagine what the ROI would be if we applied it to youth development benefits?

Many people assume that once employees are trained, they are more likely to leave the organization, but actually, the opposite is true: trained staff members are happier and more likely to stay put.

Their self-esteem improves, which in turn improves their morale and their loyalty. A Louis Harris and Associates poll reports that among employees with poor training opportunities, 41 percent planned to leave within a year, whereas of those who considered their organization’s training opportunities to be excellent, only 12 percent planned to leave.

A Hackett Benchmarking and Research report shows that spending $218 per employee on training equates to more than a 16 percent voluntary turnover, while organizations that spend over $273 per employee have turnovers of 7 percent.

Well, the case is easy to make for the cost benefit but my final “selling” point is the ability to network and learn from your peers. Sure, I participate in multiple online communities of practice, discussion forums, blogs, network calls, webinars, etc… but nothing compares with randomly meeting someone you know who works in a different part of the country and is walking through the Exhibit Hall.

You stop, realize that you only see each other at BOOST, you take 20 minutes to catch up, and walk away with a wealth of ideas and a promise to follow-up later (which turns into next year’s conference). That type of interaction is priceless and the trickle down benefit goes right to the youth that we serve.

Investing in training is so worth the expense, but smart investments pay off in amazing dividends.

As you read this post, think of the benefits you get from attending BOOST. Was it the amazing keynotes that inspired the inner drummer in you or are you focused on positive leadership? Perhaps it was a workshop on Making or Neuroplasticity that has you going. Maybe it was the 80’s Homecoming Event where you scored that next idea for a themed activity. Whatever it was, take a moment to comment on this blog, on Twitter, or on Facebook. Share your favorite BOOST moment and your thoughts on the benefits realized. Build the case and keep the momentum going all year.

This morning for breakfast, I had a Sausage Biscuit and a Diet Coke while scanning through my favorite Tweets of the Day!

Author Profile: @shawnpetty

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