The Cost of Untrained Employees


CFO: What happens if we train them and they leave?

CEO: What happens if we don’t and they stay?

It’s true that Untrained Employee COST MORE than Training Employees.

Many companies consider training as an expense.  In fact whenever there is a recession or a market downfall the axe first falls on training.  This is a typical reactionary syndrome of immature & purposeless leadership.  Such leaders do not understand the cost of untrained employees  and the contribution they make towards the organisation’s downfall.

Michael Leboeuf, in his book, The great principle of management, writes “If you believe that training is expensive, it is because you do not know what ignorance costs.” .

 Everyone needs to update & upgrade themselves with new skills so that they can be productive enough to be profitable to the organisation.  Often productivity is mistaken for long hours of  work / effort. But great effort which do not get results are not profitable. This is the difference that training can make. Training empowers Employees to be effective and productive.

.Here are some dangers & damages that untrained employees cause :

  1. Untrained employees are bottlenecks for organisational growth. –  many organisations are struggling with employees who are nor trained or do not wish to be trained or are not considered worthy to be trained.  I wonder what’s the logic of having such employees in the system, knowing fully well that their contribution will only be minimal or negative.
  2. Untrained employees resist change & hamper the organisational culture –people who are not trained and have not been upgrading themselves will be found wanting with there is a change and they are expected to rise up to the occasion.  They are more settled in their routines and find themselves victimised during change. This cause lot of restlessness in the environment.  
  3. Untrained employees spread negative influence – Since they are unable to cope with change, there are often resisting the new things. This results in spreading unnecessary negative opinions, cluttered thinking and influences which are detrimental to the organisation.
  4. Untrained employees are an additional burden to the organisation – employees who are ineffective because they operate with skills which are outdated  or lack required skills  are just another number to the tally. They are resource in paper but actually cannot be counted on. Moreover such employees also need special discounts when the going gets tough and the need for results is crucial.
  5. Untrained employees who take on leadership roles cause long term damages –Many organisations have managers who have not grown in the last 5-10 years. These are typical untrained employees who cause a long term damage by taking bad decisions or more often, not being able to take any decisions. They limit their role to to maintaining status quo, avoiding risks and take pleasure in the position given to them. Such behaviour demotivates the team and also prevents the growth of new leaders.

It is important to train employees so that they become effective. productive & contribute to the profitability of the organisation.  Every employee needs training so that they can unleash their potential to be the best that they can be. There is no excuse good enough to not train employees, unless we are willing to let them go!

Training employees should be driven by the leadership at every organisation. HR should be involved in implementing it, making sure that the learning will add value  & meet expected results. Training budgets hence should not be HR-driven but  leadership & vision driven.

-Vijay Samuel Benjamin, Leadership Coach, Behavioural Trainer, Motivational Speaker, L & D Consultant & Purpose Driven Entrepreneur