Training Incentives Stimulate Employee Growth

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When companies struggle with human resource issues arising from a shrinking pool of highly skilled and talented workers, they will often resort to acquisition strategies that may run counter to employee retention plans and may prove to be less cost effective.

These strategies also often ignore employee surveys that identify learning and development as the most important factors in achieving career advancement and increasing employee satisfaction.

It is a well-known fact that the more employees are engaged in interesting, challenging work and have opportunities for growth, the more likely they are to be highly productive and stay with their company. Therefore, talent development and deployment strategies have to incorporate some way of building employees' skills to maximum capacity.

Employee development becomes a critical tool both for the employee's career progress and for the organization's market competitiveness and growth. When a third and important stakeholder in the economic equation gets involved--state government--employees, organizations, and the public sector can create a successful partnership where everyone wins.

In today's global economy, state governments are doing more to help their workforce remain competitive. Because competitive employees must possess the best and most advanced skills, government agencies have established multiple training grant programs to stimulate worker skills development. Governments understand that as workers increase their skills capacity, they fuel innovation and product development, which ultimately spurs economic growth and multiplies the return on states' investments in their workforce.

From the private sector's perspective, employee development can be expensive, and incentives--particularly those addressing the cost of training and upskilling of workers--can have a positive impact on business and investment decisions. Therefore, by directly financing training, government can help companies address challenges related to talent shortages and competitiveness. A training grant with a reasonable application and decision-making process will enable an organization to enact training quickly and efficiently, boosting employee productivity and its balance sheets. Companies can forge ahead confidently with the knowledge that proactive actions will be supported with training funds.

The Arkansas Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWTP) is one example of how a state training incentive is designed to respond to real-world business situations:

* The IWTP supports training projects that will benefit business and industry by assisting in the skill development of incumbent workers, thereby increasing employee opportunities, and company growth and productivity. …