Continuing Education, the Gift that Keeps on Giving

When most managers think about training, they are focused on the ROI (return on investment) that new skills or meeting state certification requirements will provide. What they may not consider are less obvious factors that also contribute to a company’s bottom line. One of the most significant factors is employee retention – a major issue in the security industry. There are also soft factors like esprit de corps and customer satisfaction. This article addresses the ways in which continuing education can contribute to a company’s financial bottom line, both directly and indirectly.

Security companies, like most other businesses, focus a lot of their attention on profit. Costs, including continuing education, are often viewed as “necessary evils”, because employee education is usually viewed as a “cost center” which comes out of company profits – not as something that contributes to profits.

The accounting view, however, does not take into full consideration the range of benefits accrued to a company as a result of continued education, and how it actually enhances the bottom line.

Let’s examine some of the ways continuing education can enhance a company’s profitability.


Employee Retention

Good pay, pleasant work conditions, opportunities for advancement, and employee benefits are all factors that help retain employees. However, benefits, like insurance and paid vacations, may be considered as a “given” and do little to motivate employees over time. There are, however, other benefits that can have a greater effect. In this category, continuing education presses all the right buttons. It makes the employee feel valued, it prepares them for advancement opportunities within the company, and it adds to their overall professional worth.

The last thing any company wants is to lose a good employee. According to “Some studies such as those conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs the equivalent of 6 to 9 months’ salary on average” –  a silent, but a devastating drain on your company’s bottom line! Most would agree, continuing education is a small price to pay to improve employee retention.


Esprit de Corps and Customer Satisfaction

A happy, well-trained employee, produces better quality work and, ultimately, leads to more satisfied customers.  And a satisfied customer translates into referrals that could be worth thousands of dollars over time.

New Profit Centers and the Ability to Upsell

In many of today’s alarm companies, the technician might find himself in a position to upsell a client. Whether or not this is the intention of your company, a well-trained technician may respond to customer requests with additional information about security cameras or home automation – dramatically increasing the value of the original sale.

Of course, there are other, less tangible benefits. Alarm technicians often train other techs to do what they have learned, multiplying the benefits of their education. A company known to offer employees continuing educational opportunities is more likely to attract higher quality personnel.

Put aside the notion that continuing education is simply a “cost center” or “necessary evil.”  It is perhaps the best investment a company can make, with multiple avenues of payback.  An institutionalized program of continuing education is a win-win for all involved and could turn this “cost center” into a “profit center” for your company.