Training as an Employee Perk? Yes, really

Employers are always looking for new ways to offer their employees perks and benefits.  Perks can be a double-edged sword.  On one hand, many think that employee retention can be directly correlated to the perks offered.  On the other hand, in difficult economic times, employers worry that they’ll have to chose between keeping costly perks or keeping employees.  And to take away perks is an absolute morale killer.  (See The Real Price of Pulling Perks and 5 Free Ways to Reward Employees).j0438770

So what’s an employer to do? We’ve talked before about some of the free perks that employers can use to keep employees.  Here’s another type of perk that isn’t free but that will give you a real return on your investment.  Training.

Yes, that’s what I said, training.  Employees, especially Gen Y employees) want to know that they are making a contribution to their workforce.  Employees who are able to participate in meaningful work, as opposed to mind-numbing “busy” or “filler” work are far more likely to get engaged and have the sense of ownership that employers value so highly. 

Without continued development, employees are destined to get bored and lose their enthusiasm.  Unless employees are given continuous opportunities to develop new skills or to deepen their understanding of skills they already have.

This is a win-win for employers, too.  What more could you want?  Engaged and highly skilled employees?  Maybe it’s more of an employer perk.