Training and development

Business Leader
Mike Leigh
by Mike Leigh

Let’s jump right to the point.  The clear majority of you do not invest enough time and resources developing your people.

You don’t need me to tell you this.  Most of you already know it.  How often does someone in your organization make a mistake that’s attributed to a “training issue?”

What you may not fully realize is just how significant those training issues are to your business.  Insufficient training not only causes mistakes to happen, but it can also contribute to low employee morale, workplace stress, and higher turnover.

Most organizations today are looking for ways to increase employee engagement and motivation.  One of the best ways to do that is by investing in the development of your team.  You can’t proudly say “my employees are my greatest asset” and then not invest in them.  There is an old joke that goes something like this:

CEO:  What if we train our employees and then they leave?

HR MANAGER:  What if we don’t train them and they stay?

If you want your organization to thrive, you really don’t have an option.  The most successful companies invest in their people.  Did you notice I used the word “invest”?  The first hurdle most organizations need to overcome is to stop thinking of training and development dollars as a cost.  It’s an investment, and it shouldn’t be one of the first things to cut when funds are tight.

Training investments should be evaluated based on the return you get.  How much would you invest in leadership development to improve employee engagement by 10%?  Or to improve customer satisfaction?  Or to reduce the cost of poor quality?  Or to reduce employee turnover?

A couple years ago, shortly after I provided a leadership development program for one of my clients, one of the participants left the company.  The program helped her clarify her goals and develop her self-motivation and played a role in her decision to leave the company to pursue an advanced degree.  Although she had high potential, the general manager was happy for her, rather than being disappointed.  He told me that it was better for her to leave if it wasn’t a good fit for her, and she would always be appreciative for investing in her, thereby always speaking favorably of the company.

Look at where you want to improve culture and performance, and invest in the development of your people to make it happen.  Develop strong onboarding and technical skills training programs.  You may be surprised at the ROI you experience.

Original article published in Valley Business Front Magazine


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