The Ups and Ups of Training...
Training is necessary if you wish to accelerate performance, keep your best players...and oh yes, bank more profit.
Training is a large topic when you look at it from some angles and it can also be a sensitive one. It takes time to implement, it can sometimes seem expensive and you're never finished!
Two resistance points often arise when we companies consider training.
Time: We're too busy to design or implement training. Particularly in startup or fast-growth companies.
Loss of team members: After training (particularly external training) my staff become attractive to competitors.
If you don't maintain a focus on training, losing in the long term is pretty much guaranteed.
Here are a couple of ideas to help.
Approach Training Incrementally
You may have issues that come under headings like customer complaints, communication issues, product development, marketing etc.
Yes, designing training to combat these areas in their entirety will take too long and the game may have changed when you finally get round to implementing it!
So design training initiatives to tackle specific problems as they arise. Start small. Pick a certain class of problem or improvement area and focus on that.
Over time you'll begin to see improvements and guess what? The big issues will likely begin to reduce in size or you'll realise that they weren't quite so big after all.
Training rubs off! The morale of other team members improves when they see evidence of a leadership team committed to the growth of its staffers.
The return on investment (ROI) from training is almost immediate in terms of improved production and over the course of a year or two you'll likely have recouped the investment several times over.
If There's Not Enough Training...
If you chose not to maintain a training approach to your team members two things are likely to result:
- you'll have to put up with continued poor performance
- you'll likely lose the staff member anyway as they'll look for growth opportunities elsewhere
Are There Downs as Well as Ups?
There can be. However I'd say this happens where training is either not applicable to that person's current role in the company or when it addresses the wrong level of development.
For example sending an accountant on a video production course might be entertaining but not appropriate to maintaining an accurate set of financial statements, or training a new apprentice in advanced project management techniques. The latter will most likely become appropriate but it's not now.
Hopefully this has inspired you to consider continual and proactive training. You'll be glad you did!