There are some organizations that put employee training and development on the back burner. They do not see an immediate benefit and view investing in their employees as more optional than essential. They do not see the expense as worth their while. They would be making a costly mistake. Investing in your employees will actually give you a great ROI.

But getting the most from investing in your employees needs careful consideration. Think about what outcomes you would want to get from training your employees. What would change in the business or in the behavior or performance of employees as a result of the training? It is especially important to identify the deficiencies in the organization and devise training programs specifically to correct these problems.

Remember that continuous learning is critical to business success. Even businesses that are doing well will fail if they don’t continuously learn and update themselves. And businesses learn as their people learn. Your employees produce, refine, protect and deliver your products and services every day, year in, year out. The quality of your products and services depends on the quality of your people. Organizations must take the steps necessary to hone their employees’ skills and enable them to stay on top of their professions and fields of work. Steps should be taken to support employees’ efforts and provide the necessary resources.

But a word of warning in this context. Employees who excel in their field of work should not necessarily be ‘promoted’ as managers. They may be technically excellent at their jobs but do they make good managers who can encourage, inspire and motivate their teams? Not necessarily so. Special training inputs may be needed to transform them into good managers able to extract peak performances from their teams. But if these technically brilliant people are not managerial material, it makes sense to provide opportunities for them to continue growing in their fields without having to take on managerial roles for which they may not be suited.

The organization must also provide for current and future leadership needs. Tomorrow’s leaders are generally to be found within the organization.  The organization must provide for the systematic identification and development of managers in terms of leadership styles that drive the business and make it unique and profitable.

There are financial considerations that need special attention. Training should not be provided at random but targeted to special business results that the organization needs. Courses that have no positive impact on the organization should give way to those that can produce immediate gains.  However, the employee’s overall growth and development are also important considerations. The organization must consider carefully if special training can help realize an employee’s potential to the maximum.  This will prove beneficial to the organization in the long run, besides giving the employee a sense of fulfillment that will definitely result in better performance.

Your employees are your principal business assets.  Expenses on them will prove to be an investment that pays dividends.

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