Training scares many bosses. They worry if they spend money training workers, they’ll take their new skills to a better job elsewhere.

Maybe. But if you spend money wisely giving workers the right skills training investment pays off quickly.

Take an example: Microsoft Word.

Many knowledge workers spend a lot of time with Word – without mastering the software. A one-day training course will teach most workers everything they need to know about the program.

Typically a one-day out-of-office course costs between $250 and $500 per person. You’ll also lose the person’s labour for a day.

The average Australian worker earns around A$27 an hour. In New Zealand the average hourly wage is around NZ$25. Knowledge workers will earn more.

So the investment making employees more effective with Microsoft Word returns a dividend once you’ve saved 10 hours.

You can realistically reckon on reaching that point in two months. Probably less. What’s more, your employees will  produce higher quality documents, which will reflect better on your company.

Perhaps the most important pay off is in motivation. Workers like learning skills; it boosts their self-esteem and shows them you feel they are worth investing in.

There’s another reason to spend money training your staff: The Hawthorne effect.

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