Training: Now I see the Value

Executive Summary:  The benefits of training can be great for numerous reasons.  You’re making capitalinvestments, you should also treat your employeesas an asset worthy of investment too.

I got reasons not to train my people.  Many managers feel as if training is a waste of time.  You’ve heard this, or saidthis: 

“When at training, my employee is not in the office generating revenue.”  

To that I say, “well, that’s true, in the short run – like today.  What about tomorrow?  And next year and ten years from now?”

“We are way too busy to take a day off for training.” 

My answer is “No, you’re not.  The company will survive a day without ‘Joe’ at his desk.”

“They’re just going to screw off and not take it seriously.”

I disagree, I find the opposite to be true – employees, on subjects that interest them, take deep interest in the subject being taught.

“We don’t have the cash to afford sending our folks to a training.”

Well, on this one, maybe you’re right.  I don’t know your cash situation, but this will be some of the best money spent after taking care of your urgent debts.  Maybe you can bring the trainer in house to save money.

Training is an investment in your company.  In your people.  And anyone who has had a business knows that the fanciest equipment and tools are still only as good at the workers who use them.  Invest in making better workers.

What are the benefits of training?  Training is an off-the-balance-sheet asset.  Every company has employees, but what is the quality of the employee?  This quality directly correlates to the experience of your customer which equates to more revenue and more profit.

Here are some reasons to start, or increase, the training of your employees:

  • Morale– just about anyone you talk to likes to learn new things.  Workers want to stay at companies where they can continue to grow.  If you don’t water a plant, it dies.  The same holds true for employees (of course the poor morale comes before the figurative death of the employee exemplified to you, the manager, as lessened productivity or departure from the company).
  • Sense of being a winner– a friend of mine put it simply to me yesterday when she said “no one likes to work for a company that sucks”.  Maybe a bit crass, but putting this into context, she was saying that people want to work for good companies, companies they can be proud of, and this means companies that have quality employees and employers who take care of those employees.
  • Quality of employee– a better, smarter employee is a company attribute that brings back customers. Home Depot is a good example for me. Every time I go in there, I can find someone who knows the product better than I do.  This knowledge on display to the customer keeps me coming back. I know every trip I make there will be productive.
  • Increased profit– I hate when people say this.  “More training improves the bottom line!”.  It’s so cliché.  Maybe the supposed increase of profit will not be tangible and measurable.  But, perhaps you can sleep at night knowing that employees want to stay at your company and that the likelihood of you going backwards due to human ignorance of error is drastically lessened.  Maybe increased profitshould be replaced withcompany sustainability.

My story.  Again, I’m just taking another page and a half to quote myself in my business experiences.  These anecdotes are my anecdotes, for the most part.  But, now that I do a lot of training and I see the benefits of increased morale, increased pride in the company, an improved employee – I believe in all of these things above.

I recently was on site with a contractor in the Pacific Northwest, and the company owner stated to me that the primary reason he was bringing in ten of his employees for a day was to show them that he valued them.  That’s forward thinking and a trait that will help sustain that company into the future.