As a manager it is important that your team members are qualified to do their ever-changing jobs. Obtaining training for them is one way to do so. Let’s find out how Joe and Wanda approach training.
Joe Kerr: I try not to train team members if I can at all help it. First of all it negatively impacts my numbers. Don’t get me wrong, I always put some money for training in my budget, but that’s only for sand-bagging purposes, so I look good when I come in under budget at the end of the year. I need to look out for number one.
Training is over-rated. Take me for instance. I haven’t had any training in years. Haven’t read a book since college, and it hasn’t impacted me in the least. This is the school of hard knocks! If employees can’t learn how to do their jobs on their own, I’ll find others in the market that can. Besides, who wants to spend big bucks training someone only to see them go to another company for more money? Talk about a slap in the face!
Wanda B. Goode: Training is a great motivator. It generates increased productivity. Employees are so eager to use their skills to the benefit of the team.
I push for as many training dollars as I can get, and avoid dipping into the funds for other purposes. Sometimes budget cuts get announced mid year. I try my best to avoid impacting training.
Realizing that training dollars are limited, I also work to maximize them. Our team uses the train-the-trainer method where a select few people attend a class and then train the rest of the team. It’s a lot cheaper, and it’s very effective. Peter Drucker stated, “Knowledge workers and services workers learn most when they teach.” I agree with that and have shared it with the team on many occasions. I encourage team members to constantly teach one another. I do my share of teaching as well. Everyone benefits as a result. The ideas that people come up with are amazing!
Some fear training their employees. They don’t want to spend money to train workers, only to see them quit and use their new skills to benefit a competitor. I don’t buy that. In Stephen R. Covey book, “The Speed of Trust,” there is a quote from an unidentified CEO. Someone asked him, “What if you train everyone and they all leave?” He responded, “What if we don’t train them and they all stay?” Now that can keep you up at night!
We need to retain good people in order to thrive in today’s global economy. Employees need to continue to learn and grow if we are to change and re-invent our groups and our companies. Employee training and development is essential for long term success.