"Why train someone if they are just going to leave?", is a common question held between Finance Directors and HR Directors, almost everywhere. Whilst it's an almost paradoxical question, I think it's fair to say that the answer differs in the 21st Century compared to the late 20th.
These days I would argue that this question is moot.
These days the expectations of Millennials and Generation Z employees are vastly different from Generation X and Baby Boomers. Whilst the older employees, Baby Boomers and Generation X, (Mavericks excepted!), accept much of the norms of company culture, in regards to training and career progression; the others do not. These individuals do not expect to have just one job or even one career, in their working lives. They will be devoting their time (that would have been spent on unpaid overtime) on 'side hustles'. Things that will provide additional income from something that they are really passionate about.
This means that they are not concentrating on you, the employer.
Therefore, how will you keep their attention in the workplace? How will you keep them engaged, working for you, when they could be working for someone else?
Great leadership, meaningful work, and development - are three key starting places.
With these new generation of employees expecting integrity and equality in the workplace they will not accept are argument that disqualifies them from training. If it means that their job is harder to fulfil due to knowledge gaps. They don't see training as a reward but as a necessity to their own performance and employability elsewhere. If they 'have' to be at work, then they should be getting something out of it, in addition to salary.
Unhappy employees become apathetic, disengaged and possibly destructive.
There are other consequences of not investing in training individuals. Good talent leaves and poor talent stays. Thus reducing the long term profitability of the organisation. Increasing absences and depressing morale.
A dangerous situation in a world where, how stakeholders are treated is under a global magnifying glass - fuelled by social media.
To keep the Finance Director happy you could calculate how much value will be brought to the organisation once the individual has received the appropriate training. Just ensure that you include the tangibles and the intangibles. Then offset that against the expected time that individual will leave (if they got training or didn't). Include the expected losses of the non trained employee as well.
In most cases, when you have factored in as much of the consequences for not training and compared against the cost of training there is a healthy positive return on the investment. It also as the added benefit of increasing the reputation of the company with employees and consumers alike. Investing in the right development of employees will make a substantial difference to your organisation.
"Why train someone if they are just going to leave?" well if you don't - they just might stay!