Why Training is an Investment, not an Expense

Jan 8, 2024

Training can be one of the most fickle aspects of our lives. We know we need it to learn and grow. We consider it to be a nonnegotiable for our team members. And yet, we often shirk the responsibility of training in order to pursue other ventures. So much so, in fact, that an estimated 59% of employees claim they had no workplace training, instead relying heavily on skills that were self-taught.

Why? Because training isn’t exciting. It isn’t often viewed as an investment that will benefit an organization. Instead, it is treated more as an expense.

I can remember playing football as a kid, and although I loved the game, I detested practice. Running in the hot Florida sun while my friends were home in the air conditioning was never an enjoyable experience. Studying plays and lifting weights did not bring me joy. I can say with honesty that I hated doing it. I just wanted to play the game.

Later, as a young up-and-coming salesperson, I felt that I had learned more than enough to be successful in sales. I was good at it and fell into the common trap of a young, confident salesperson: My sales skill was a gift and I didn’t need to train. I just wanted to close deals.

The reality is this: Whether you’re running wind sprints on the field or taking notes from a sales book at your desk, training can be difficult. However, training is the foundation upon which success is built. We often don’t train for things that we feel we’re already good at, but we’ll only become great at them through training. This dilemma can plague not only our professional lives but our personal lives as well.

The reality is that when we put training on the back burner, we also put a ceiling on our growth. When we don’t train our people or cease training after onboarding, we are only hurting ourselves. We stunt our growth. To underestimate the importance of training is a costly mistake that we cannot afford to make.

I’m not saying that every company should train the same way or at the same frequency. I’m not here to tell you exactly how you should train your staff or yourself for that matter. Instead, I am presenting the argument that our opinion of training has to change. It cannot be looked at as a chore, because it isn’t. It is education for our occupation. It’s a necessity, not an addition. And it’s one of the few investments that can lead to an instant return.

A lack of training often leads to poor performance. Unfortunately, this poor performance is often blamed on the individual, when in actuality they were not given the tools and knowledge required for success. Over time, this leads to a revolving door of interviewing, onboarding, poor performance, low morale and, finally, attrition. Training isn’t an expense—a lack of training is. When you invest in training for your team, you are strengthening the entire organization. Regular training has been shown to lead to higher engagement, employee retention rates and job satisfaction.

It is time that we begin to view training in a different light. It starts from the top down. Treat training as a crucial step in the process of growth and success, and your team will follow suit. If growth is what you seek, then training is how you will find it.

By David Villa