Why now is the right time to invest in training and development

Employees value professional development and training. This was a common theme our Organizational Excellence team heard while examining employee morale and organizational culture for several organizations over the summer.

To uncover this theme and many others, we convened dozens of focus groups and individual interviews, speaking with hundreds of employees from diverse public sector employers. Across organizations, staff said that they wanted their organizations to do more to support their professional growth, build their job-related skills, and enhance their leadership skills through expanded training and development opportunities.

This is a difficult time for utilities and local governments. While the need to deliver high quality services to customers and residents has never stopped, changing workforce expectations and the Great Resignation have created organizational challenges, including recruiting and retaining qualified and motivated staff to deliver those services. Many organizations that we partner with are experiencing record-high vacancy rates, limited candidate pools for open positions, and frequent turnover.

These conditions call for a renewed investment in developing the talent that already exists within the organization through opportunities that help staff learn the skills that will benefit the organization and grow personally and professionally.

There are several common arguments for why training and development investments are not prioritized. However, in today’s environment, it is more important than ever to rethink these assumptions and consider the value proposition that training and development bring to an organization. The infographic below highlights several frequent arguments against investment in training and development that we hear and the reality of today’s operating environment for utility and local government organizations.


[1] Society for Human Resources Management. 2022 Workforce Learning and Development Trends Research Report. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/research-and-surveys/Documents.pdf