Retail Training – Cost or Investment?

Training your staff costs money and time. Yet how can you be sure that it is worthwhile?

Whether it’s in good times or bad, as retail consultants we often hear companies say that while they’d like to train staff, it is too expensive or they don’t have the budget for it.

Retailers need to look for a return on their investment (ROI) to justify why it’s worth undertaking training in the first place. However this ROI is not always evident at the completion of training.

The key to measuring a ROI on training is to set measurable objectives upfront before any training commences. Goals could include improved customer satisfaction; reduced recruitment costs through better staff retention; improved store productivity or visible increases in the bottom line over a selected period of time.

If specific goals are determined upfront, it is easier to measure the achievement of these goals and whether training has been successful. Having a focus can help define and improve the nature of the training given, rendering it more cost-effective. It can also help you in your selection process of a reputable training or consulting company, if you know what you’re looking to achieve.

Training is an investment from the employee’s perspective. For individuals, learning new skills equips them to develop their careers and to earn more. The return on investment is evident for the individual as training can result in a financial benefit in the future. Employees generally view training as either a gift from the employer or a sign of commitment, which is important to job satisfaction.

Research from reputable universities like Cornell (USA), show that training also provides significant benefits for employers. In many cases retail sales people were 55% more productive after two years of training.

Investing in your people can only affect productivity positively. By selecting the right training and the right company you can also ensure the return outweighs the investment.