Numbers that Prove You Need a Training Program

Share This Article

0 0 0 0

“Only floss the teeth you want to keep.”

That was my father’s perennial response as I complained, almost every night, about having to get ready for bed. The dental hygiene regimen my parents made me follow was rigorous, and I hated having to spend almost three whole minutes staring into the mirror in my bathroom and brushing, flossing, and rinsing until my mouth smelled stronger than an Altoids factory.

Dental Floss

But my dad was right, and I never failed to floss all my teeth because, even in my young mind, that cost/benefit ratio wasn’t large enough to be worth losing a molar over.

Flossing is to molars what training is to top-performing employees; only do it for the ones you want to keep.

Odds are your organization is one of the 79% of companies that do not provide a formal training program to their employees. That’s a very, very bad thing, and if you need to be convinced why, or if you need some hard numbers to back up your training program proposal to your boss, read on.

Here are the seven top reasons you need a training program, divided by category.

Training increases employee retention rates

Like flossing and teeth, if you don’t train your employees you’re more likely to lose them.

1) According to a Harris Interactive poll, employees who say their company has “poor” training opportunities are more than three times as likely to want to leave their job compared to those whose organizations have “excellent” training programs (41% to 12%). Employees value opportunities for personal and professional growth, and if you don’t give those to them, they’ll quit and find them elsewhere.

2) Additionally, a study done by Sun Microsystems found that introducing a formal mentorship training program increased retention rates by 23% for participants.

3) This trend is likely to increase, by the way, as Millennials enter the workforce. According to a UNC survey, 65% of Millennials say that the existence of personal development opportunities was the most influential factor in choosing their current job.

Training increases productivity

4) Andy Grove, one of the founders of Intel, explains the back-of-the-napkin math for training:

Training is, quite simply, one of the highest-leverage activities a manager can perform. Consider for a moment the possibility of your putting on a series of four lectures for members of your department. Let’s count on three hours of preparation for each hour of course time – twelve hours of work in total. Say that you have ten students in your class. Next year they will work a total of about twenty thousand hours for your organization. If your training efforts result in a 1 percent improvement in your subordinates’ performance, your company will gain the equivalent of two hundreds hour of work as a result of the expenditure of your twelve hours.

5) This math checks out in the real world, too.  According to an ASTD study of over 2,500 companies, those with comprehensive training programs have:

  • 218% higher revenue per employee

  • 24% higher profit margins

  • A 6% higher shareholder return

This is compared to those organizations without such formalized programs.

Training boosts employee morale

Keeping your employees happy has all sorts of spillover effect, including into the two areas covered above. From higher productivity, to lower turnover, to decreased internal conflicts and absenteeism, a happy workforce is crucial to a successful business.

6) Great training can keep your people happier. For instance, in an ILX Group study of 100 HR decision makers, 51% reported improvements in employee morale as a key reason to conduct training.

7) Another survey, this one by TJinsite, found that 35% of employers said on-the-job training enhanced employee morale in their organizations.

Other numbers and reasons?

Did I leave out any solid reasons for having a formal training program at your organization? Or are there some awesome stats that further support these points? Add them below in the comments!

Looking for Training software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Training software solutions.

Share This Article

About the Author


JP Medved

Follow on

J.P. was formerly content director at Capterra.



Randy, glad you liked it; I hope it can be helpful to people!


Thanks for the article, J.P.! Well written, well researched, and a joy to read. Even better – a big help to anyone needing to convince their higher-ups that they need a formal training program. Nothing talks to them like numbers.

Comment on this article:

Comment Guidelines:
All comments are moderated before publication and must meet our guidelines. Comments must be substantive, professional, and avoid self promotion. Moderators use discretion when approving comments.

For example, comments may not:
• Contain personal information like phone numbers or email addresses
• Be self-promotional or link to other websites
• Contain hateful or disparaging language
• Use fake names or spam content

Your privacy is important to us. Check out our Privacy Policy.