Pay the Price Now to Avoid the Cost Later – Employer Perspective

In some organizations, employee training is seen as an unnecessary expense. Once an employee has a basic understanding of the role, why invest more time and resources into that employee’s development?

When you as an employer or your Senior management team are considering paying for an employee to complete a course, it’s important that there’s a sound business case to justify what’s going to be a significant investment, in terms of finances, time resources and professional support for the employee and whether this is worth it in terms of how it will benefit and give back to the business.

In the current economic climate, it’s no secret that most businesses simply won’t have the same disposable income to spend on staff training and qualifications that they might previously have done. 

This may leave you with a dilemma as an employer, if you’re looking to get an employee/s up to speed in marketing or management, you might be seeking a professional certificate or diploma to enroll them on. However, if you’re faced with slightly more limited funds at the moment, you might feel you can’t afford to pay for a premium product and be tempted to go for the easy solution and choose the cheapest professional course you can find.


Take a minute to think.

It might seem counterintuitive but sometimes the option that appears ‘cheapest’ at first glance, isn’t actually the cheapest after all, both in terms of literal price and value for money and also cost to your valuable time and energy and resources.

There’s many extra expenses that can be incurred from choosing a potentially substandard product which end up making the seemingly ‘great deal’ more expensive in the long term.

Zig Ziglar, an American businessman and best selling sales advice author, used the purchase of a bike as an example. You can pay less initially for a bike but then inevitably end up shelling out more and more for repairs as it isn’t built to last, or you can pay that little bit extra to begin with and get a quality product.

Often when we’re purchasing a product or service, we look at the stated price, the initial investment, and take it at face value, without understanding the true ‘cost’.

Here’s why you should pay the higher price now, to avoid cost later and why the ‘cheapest deal’ isn’t always cheapest.

Impact on your training budget and resources:

Counterintuatively, a cheaper course can eat into your training and resource budget as an employer far more than its seemingly more expensive counterpart. It might sound obvious, but Cheaper courses are often cheaper for a reason! Less expensive courses are unlikely to have invested as much in creating top learning materials and bonus content and may not be able to offer the same level of learning resources and extra content that a more expensive provider would.

They even may not actually provide the necessary materials, equipment, and supplies needed for the student to properly benefit from and complete the course.

You may end up paying extra and eating into your budget further or redistributing existing resources that are needed elsewhere, to provide the employee with the extra learning materials or technology and resources to really develop the skills you need them to from the course. For example subscriptions to sites like Hubspot or Management Direct to give them the content they need for their learning, meaning you suddenly end up paying more in the long term anyway.

In contrast, ‘seemingly’ more expensive courses are often charging a little more because they’re putting significant expenditure into creating top quality resources that the learner can utilise beyond the course and take back to their business, for example they might offer their own custom built learning platform and resource area containing marketing and management templates, ebooks, video content etc which you can access longer term and utilise for the benefit of your business.

As well as this, more expensive marketing and management courses may be accredited by respected organisations like the Chartered Management Instittue and Chartered Institute of Marketing and include membership to these organisations for your employee, meaning your organisation benefits from access to an even greater selection of expert industry insights and resources and even connections with other prominent marketers or managers through their membership networks.

Securing resources to help the employee learn properly in the course and therefore in their role will often necessitate the additional value of more expensive providers with better developed courses that you can be sure will provide the tools your employee needs.

A less expensive course might not teach an employee the most up to date knowledge or provide them with the skills you need it to:

Less expensive providers are unlikely to have recruited industry professionals to help design their courses or to have consulted with experts to develop the most up to date and relevant marketing or management training content. They also may not have as much experience in delivering qualifications or specialise in teaching marketing or management.

Therefore, if you’re relying on this qualification to train a new marketing employee from scratch for example, or help a long term employee learn entirely new skills; going with what turns out to be essentially a substandard product, could leave you with an employee who still does not fully understand the industry. 

In nearly every industry, but particularly marketing and management, technology and trends respectively evolve quickly, so employees’ skills must be constantly updated to keep up with the fast pace of innovation. 

And with the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution, speed of application of new knowledge will be critical. Making sure employees are keeping up with the required knowledge for their role and that they can functionally apply such knowledge in the workplace is extremely important.

With a cheaper less well developed course, despite having supposedly undertaken a professional qualification, they still may not be taught the ins and outs of the most new and relevant areas of marketing or management and therefore not be fully versed on what will be expected of them in their role. You may end up shelling out for your employee to take this course, only to realise that it hasn’t actually helped them develop the most relevant skills you need from them.

You will then end up having to spend more time and potentially money, explaining things to them yourself and giving them extra in-house training or even paying for them to take yet another more in depth course.

In contrast, by paying a little extra up front and going with a supposedly more expensive course (which probably is only more expensive because it benefits from more years of experience and powerful partnerships with accreditors like the CIM), you can be assured that your money is going to do what you need it to.

If you work in the industry you’ll probably already know that study centres accredited by organisations like the CIM, work closely with these accreditors and industry experts to design the most up to date content and have to pass rigorous tests to ensure their training is relevant and of a high standard.

What’s more, many CIM modules for example, are assessed by work-based assignments, meaning the learners have to use the business they’re working for as a kind of case study and apply their knowledge to produce real life analysis on that business. So for example, if you sent an employee on a CIM course, your organisation would benefit by getting practical documents containing relevant, ready to be implemented strategy around your business! 

Knowledge is arguably useless in marketing or management, without the application of it in

practice to achieve a desired result. Developing your employees skills throughout their marketing or management career and mapping these to industry requirements will help you maintain staff who have competent and coherent knowledge in their roles. 

With a more expensive provider, you’ll see a notable application of their newly developed relevant skills operating in the business straight away.

Positive Impact on your business of investing in a quality product and the consequences of poor quality training:

It’s important to take a step back sometimes and remember the main reason you are sending employees on courses- to benefit the business. 

Providing adequate training equips your employees to do their jobs well – which ultimately benefits the company as a whole.  

The positive impact for businesses in investing in education and continuous professional development of employees has been widely proven by research. Organisations who prioritise employee learning and CPD are more likely to ensure continuous development of the business as a whole as they will produce more knowledgeable and motivated employees who can offer fresh insights.

As a result of implementing learning innovation, in the top organisations:

  • 59% increase productivity
  • 39% drive business innovation
  • 38% improve talent strategies to keep the best people
  • 47% build capability of organisation to solve problems
  • 48% develop the learning culture within their organisation
  • 68% facilitate new ways of working

Despite this, there is arguably a lack of investment in training in many companies. While participation in in-work training varies by occupation group, with employees in professional occupations most likely (37.3%) to undertake in-work training, a study by the UK Government found that on average only 26% of employees in the UK said they had taken part in in-work training or education- an arguably underwhelming figure given its importance.

A long-term research project commissioned by Middlesex University for Work Based Learning found that, from a 4,300 workers sample, 74% felt that they weren’t achieving their full potential at work due to lack of development opportunities.

The most successful organisations will recognise the importance of investing in employee training and education and acknowledge that continuous learning and development is beneficial to both individuals and the organisation and put their money where their mouth is by investing in the apparently more expensive CPD schemes and training programmes.

Effective training dramatically increases productivity. With regular and adequate training programs, you can support employees to maintain high levels of productivity. Well trained employees understand how to efficiently and effectively perform their roles.

Well trained employees also work smarter. Because trained employees understand how to perform their roles, they are often able to complete their responsibilities more efficiently than under-trained workers. Ultimately, that allows them to get more done in a shorter amount of time—which benefits both customers and the company as a whole.

 If an employee doesn’t receive adequate training, they will likely make more mistakes. This may open them up to disciplinary action or poor performance reviews as they miss opportunities to grow professionally and may not be able to meet performance goals. Workers who aren’t fully trained will generally take longer to perform tasks—and may perform them to a lower standard – which will hinder your overall productivity.

What’s more, the negative impact on the business of poor training could be significant.

If your business is equipped with well trained employees, your company could be capable of acquiring and serving more customers, but if you don’t provide that training, not only will you probably never achieve optimal productivity but you could lose customers. Poorly trained employees may lack the knowledge and skills to provide a good customer experience. In response, customers may take their business elsewhere. One poor customer experience may seem like a small problem, but as untrained employees continue to impact more and more customers, your brand as a whole may suffer and it could do significant Damage to your brand reputation. 

Particularly when it comes to marketing, effective Digital marketing and social media performance management to ensure message consistency and a good reputation can be vital.

So if the question is whether a more expensive professional qualification can be justified, and whether it is worth the value in terms of final company performance results… Yes!