We’ve all heard this one before, the CFO says to the CEO “what if we train our employees and they leave?” to which the CEO responds “what if we don’t and they stay?’ It may seem like a cliché, but similar conversations have happened. Generally occurring in a small or medium sized business, where resources are limited, it is these very businesses however that training is sometimes most needed.

There are practical things that can be done to ensure this investment is returned. If you do decide to invest in the growth and development of your people, some will leave but with those that don’t, you can enjoy a return on investment (ROI) that makes the time and money spent worthwhile. Let’s look at this from both sides.

The CFO’s position

The CFO in this conversation, coming from a financial perspective, is looking to cut costs and increase productivity. The concern lies in investing thousands of dollars into training staff members who have to take time away from work to participate and then watching them leave as they reach the point of competence. Yet, in this day and age employees are looking beyond just pure compensation and toward the overall benefits of their employment. If this CFO had their way it would halt the business’ ability to recruit and/or retain the best talent, ultimately hurting productivity. Some people will take their new skills and move on, but that is only a problem if they do so before you have got your ROI payback.

The CEO’s position

No business wants to be known as a training ground for its competitors. The CFO’s concerns about investing without return aren’t completely wrong, however, to retain a staff of unmotivated and unknowledgeable workers is not the answer. If no attempt is made to properly train the workforce the business will never move forward and motivation will fail, giving the competition even more of an edge.

Effective Training

Effective training ensures that your employees possess the knowledge & skills to have an impact on your bottom line and therefore create a tangible ROI as soon as training ends.

Training courses that enrich employees personally and add a new skill set don’t immediately make employees think “great now I am off to get a new job!” Instead, they feel invigorated and look forward to applying the newly-acquired knowledge to their existing role, increasing job satisfaction. This ultimately creates a feeling of gratitude and loyalty to the organization that felt that they were worth the investment.

So, the next time you are thinking about the training needs of your business ask yourself these questions:

  • Can I afford to take an individual off the daily deliverables of a project to train them?

  • Can I afford to pay for the training course?

  • How am I keeping my staff engaged and ensuring they retain the knowledge?

  • What type of tangible ROI am I looking to gain from training my employees?


In order to ensure employees are receiving effective training consider adaptive training providers who allow you to apply what is being learned between short and engaging sessions. Avoid courses that teach dry theory from a textbook or sentence your staff to death by powerpoint. Do this and the CFO/CEO debate becomes redundant!

Educational Execution & Evaluation

eCubed Training is a professional training development company with a passion for improving performance through technology. Our online course collection includes the most engaging courses for professional development. That’s not all however, we also design custom courses using virtual reality simulations and augmented reality gamification guaranteeing the highest level of retention. eCubed courses are highly-curated by subject matter experts for accuracy and high retention.

If you’re interested in equipping your employees with training to help take them to the next level, check out our training courses! You can also contact us to design a custom course and/or custom curriculum for large groups!

Tell us exactly what you need and we’ll make it happen. After all, we’re your partner in training!