When You Should Invest in Training for Your Employees
By Dave Wilcox, LearningZen CEO
As a business owner or manager, it is important that you recognize when your employees may need training. Sadly, we often only realize the need after something unfortunate happens such as losing a key client or a key employee. In most of these cases, we later realize that the signs were there the whole time and that we were simply choosing to ignore them. While there are many scenarios that I could cover, I am going to focus on just a few that I have had firsthand experience with.
The Under-performing Employee – If someone on your team is consistently making mistakes, providing poor service, or otherwise struggling in their role, it is highly likely that they have not received the proper training for their position. Most employees want to do a good job, but are unsure in their positions and lack the confidence to ask for training. These employees will typically embrace a training program that can help them improve the quality of their work and in turn, their enjoyment of their position. Sadly, we often blame the employee or chalk this up to a lack of ability or desire, when better training was all that was needed.
The Old Dog– The statement that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks can be accurate far too often if you are not providing the training that allows them to master the new tricks. Certainly, every organization has a few self-motivated individuals that will adopt technological advancements as they come out, but many others will avoid change as if it were a disease. If you notice your employees that have not embraced the advancements in technology such as email, computers, the internet, or other technologies used in your industry, you need to get them the training they need to be as productive are the rest of the team. Allowing your staff to ignore technological advancements does a disservice to both you and your employee.
The Ladder Climber – Often the opposite of the old dog, the ladder climber is looking for every option to advance their career. They are always looking for ways to improve their skill set and their resume. Many mangers fall into the trap of asking ‘Why should I train them if they are then likely to leave.’ Of course the adage that is equally true is ‘What if you don’t train them and they stay?’ The later will leave you with an unsatisfied, disgruntled employee that is underperforming in their position. I have found that when we do provide the training to let someone improve both their skills and their resume, that they typically stay with the organization for that very reason. They like to know that they have options should they want to leave, but if you treat them well and provide training and support they request, your investment will almost always be returned with happy and productive employees that stick around.
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