Why is Training Employees a Challenge for Retailers?

Posted: January 27, 2023
Category: Spotlight on Business

Training new employees require a substantial investment of time and resources before they can contribute to the business. A survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), reveals that training is a challenge for small business owners for a variety of reasons that are within or beyond their control.

Two areas of primary concern are the number of employees who leave after being trained, and current employees who have no interest in learning new skills. Owners also mentioned the significant amount of time everyone is required to invest in the training process.

  • 32 percent of owners say turnover is a significant problem for most-skilled jobs
  • 30 percent feel turnover is an issue in less-skilled positions
  • 28 percent of report employees show little interest in learning new things

Time Outweighs Money
Owners believe that time is their most valuable training resource. Training new employees remove their focus from other activities within the business that require their attention. Time outweighs out-of-pocket costs since they cannot make up lost time at a later date.

  • 33 percent of employers have little time to train employees
  • 18 percent report training costs to be an issue

According to the NFIB, small business owners value work experience more than higher education obtained beyond high school. Owners expect basic formal learning, strong primary skills, and prior work history for their most-skilled positions.

  • 32 percent of employees have no formal education requirements
  • 40 percent require a high school diploma or GED
  • 43 percent require credentials or skills certification

Tight Labor Market
The Labor market has been tight for the past two years. Twenty-two percent of employers who participated in the NFIB Employee Training Survey who hired someone to fill one of their most-skilled jobs lowered the minimum qualifications they typically require for applicants. This statistic is also similar for less-skilled positions (24 percent).

“With the country’s low unemployment rate at or below five percent, small employers face a tight labor market when recruiting and maintaining employees,” said NFIB’s Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Employee training is important to the operations of small employer firms and is often ongoing as current employees develop skills to keep up with industry operation trends or advance to more skilled positions within the firm.”

Types of Training Offered
When it comes to training, employers offer a range of options. These can include classes and programs offered by colleges, vendors, or professional associations. However, most employers provide in-house training and supplement it with outside resources.

  • 28 percent of employers use employee training provided by vendors, industry trade, and business associations
  • 22 percent of small employers rely on online courses and distance learning programs

Every business is different. Proper training ensures that employees can perform the duties and responsibilities that small business owners require to operate a successful business. The survey underscores how important it is for applicants who are entering the workforce to have the necessary skills essential to small business owners.