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Employee Training Pays Off With Fewer Workforce Reductions

By Cornell Chronicle

January 7, 2022

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Companies that invested more in employee training before the pandemic were less likely to lay off their employees and reduce their workforces to cope with pandemic-related financial pressures, according to research from the ILR School at Cornell University.

The findings suggest investments in training increase the value of employees to an organization. Moreover, the researchers argue that investments in employee training may offer even stronger job protection when paired with an organization's simultaneous investments in other resources, such as technologies that can be specialized with employees' knowledge and skills.

"These findings provide evidence that the same investments that firms make to support the development of employees' human capital in normal times also offer a buffer to employees' job security in the face of financial precarity," the researchers write in "Investing for Keeps: Firms' Prepandemic Investments in Human Capital Decreased Workforce Reductions Associated With COVID-19 Financial Pressures," accepted at the Journal of Applied Psychology.

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