two people co-working in an office space with masks during the pandemic.

Here’s Why Investing In Your Workforce Provides A Greater Return Than Rewarding C-Suite Residents

This month, pharma company Moderna’s new CFO Jorge Gomez spent just one day on the job and walked away with $700,000. When Moderna found out his on-the-job behavior was being investigated by his former employer, they pushed him out the door along with the severance check required by his contract: an entire year’s salary.

Moderna just spent well over half a million dollars on someone who just walked away—nevermind the cost to hire him in the first place. 

Imagine the impact of investing $700,000 on upskilling your workforce.

With $700,000 you could:

  • Completely upskill 28 (actually 28.2) employees—with completely new skill sets from scratch
  • Replace 175 employees, though it would take you about 11 years to do it
  • Hire and advance an excellent people manager who pours into their employees and their growth—for at least seven years
  • Run a multiyear recruitment program that trains graduating university students on exactly the skills you need them to have

It’s worth it to invest in your executives, absolutely, and the C-suite needs skill development too, but it’s smarter to invest in your workforce as a whole instead of just one person for the same reason it’s smarter to have a diversified portfolio instead of putting all of your cash into a single stock. Your balance may look impressive now, but what will it look like in five years?

Plus, if your investment is in just one executive, the moment that person walks out the door, you’ve lost it all.

Upskilling and coaching your workforce does so much for a business:

  • It makes it easier to attract new talent
  • It makes it easier to retain the talent you already have (which is a lot cheaper than bringing in new workers)
  • It boosts employee engagement and satisfaction
  • It saves you time and money on recruiting 
  • It future-proofs your organization against the looming skills shortage and lets you adapt to changing markets more quickly
  • It positions your employer brand as one that invests in and values your workers
  • It prevents you from missing out on possible revenue


The appetite for learning new skills is here, and workers want to work for companies that are invested in their future. According to a 2021 Gallup report, 57% of workers want to update their skill sets. In fact, 48% of American workers say they would actually change jobs if offered training opportunities.

Employees who have access to learning and development are happier with their jobs: 71% of workers who have participated in upskilling programs say their overall satisfaction with their job has increased.

Investing in human capital—in people—is good for business. Evidence shows that the ROI can be more than two fold. 

Economists at MIT, the University of Michigan, and Boston College partnered to run a study on the effects of soft skills training. After providing a 12-month soft skills training program to workers in a garment factory, they found that program returned about 250% on investment within eight months.

 Investment in your workforce is also an investment in the future of business, in the future of the economy. For every dollar invested in workers, $11.39 is added to the GDP.

 The world economy is dancing dangerously close to a skill shortage, and the consultancy Korn Ferry estimates that the financial impact of this talent shortage could amount to $8.452 trillion in unrealized annual revenue by 2030. In the States, this could amount to $1.748 trillion, of 6% of our economy. 

That’s a loss your business could feel. Imagine, instead, if you felt the boost.

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