Category Archives: Training

Why Shortchanging Training Always Costs More

A number of studies in the last few years have similarly shown that companies that consistently spend across all levels to develop their people reap the following benefits:

  • Deeper and more engaged employees – employees deeply engaged due to proper training are 200%+ more productive than disengaged employees without aligned training
  • Higher productivity – sometimes up to 10% more productive
  • Better profitability – consistently 24% better profits
  • Higher employee retention – companies that have proper training see less than 40% turnover in an employee’s first year

Many companies claim to have a great company wide training program, when actually very few do. Which explains why 69% of employees are actively seeking new employment opportunities for companies that will properly train and develop them.

Companies that shortchange their training will misfire on keeping their best and most valuable resources – people. These statistics prove it.

Where companies fall short are in varying areas, depending on the culture and focus of the organization. Here are some of the myths, or excuses, of why training is shortchanged:

  • Training should be done in the course of work, so no other expenditure of resources other than the initial orientation is needed
  • Employees that figure it out themselves are the peak performers we want, so not focusing on training will create the environment for peak performers to develop and stand out
  • Senior leadership should get the bulk of the training dollars because they are the ones who can make the biggest impact
  • There is no time to train, we are busy and have to focus on the job at hand
  • What if we train them and they leave?
  • If we spend money in training, the employees will want more money
  • We can train cheaper in house, or leverage technology to do it for us
  • It takes too much time to develop people, we can’t afford to get them out of their roles

All of these just exemplify the real rationale: these organizations value something else other than training. They value the short-term opportunity cost of savings of money and time over the long-term benefits of growth, enhanced culture, and positive impact in their industry.

Businesses are made up of people. Therefore, business IS people. And in order for businesses to grow, people must grow. That’s where the truth of this quote comes from:

“You don’t build a business. You build people – and then the people build the business.” – Zig Ziglar

Training never comes back void, as long as it’s done with purpose and with an attitude to serve and grow each member of the team.

Focus on training every day. It never stops, because business never stops. Unless your people stop growing.

(image: pixabay)

Customer Service – Are You All In On Employee Training?

books-3071110_1280

Imagine if you will a hospital that spent more time and money training their C-suite than their direct-care staff of doctors and nurses. Or a large airlines spending most of their training budget on the executive staff and very little on the pilots, flight crew, or mechanics.

The resulting scenraiors wold prove to be short-sighted and troublesome. And yet it seems that the average company spends more on training for upper level versus line-level or front-line employees.

A survey of average company training budgets will reveal that a typical company will spend from 2-5% of annual revenues on training.

The Association for Talent Development in their annual state of the industry report from last year revealed that the average company spent $1273 per employee in 2017.

Couple that with Training Mag’s study of “per-learner training” from the same period and you’ll see that most of the $1000-plus spending per-learner was done on the C-suite level, then less for mid-level management and the least individual employees. The exception seemed to be for “high potential” employees.

1116brandonhallFigure 4-400x415

If you take these statistics and see the ongoing (10 + years) trend in worsening customer service experiences, one can draw a conclusion that more training needs to be invested on the front line staff in order to reverse this trend. And while some of this is related to the rapid education of the customer and the tight labor market, there is still one thing any company can do to provide a better customer experience.

Spend more time training your front line staff than you do anyone else.

About 15 years ago a restaurant chain claimed to spend more money than the industry on training was found to have actually shortchanged their line staff and spent more resources on opening more and more units. This eventually led to their bankruptcy just a few years later.

A couple of independent and different healthcare organizations were both afflicted with the same fate in the last few years. Instead of managing resources to the employees in the way of training, they diverted those monies to the top of the organization. As a result, patient care and satisfaction tanked, employees left, and both are facing various regulatory issues as they struggle to be in compliance.

While training and development of all levels of staff are essential, the expenses of major conferences at higher levels can tend to be very expensive without much ROI and direct customer impact. But a more focused training on front-line staff will reap higher returns and boost your levels of customer satisfaction. It’s a model that Chick-Fil-A uses to their advantage in their huge growth over the least decade. Same for Bonobos, whose goal is to help their workers become better employees and equip them with skills needed to do their jobs. CyberCoders and Paychex also have made committed goals to go all in on training their employees and their cultures and recruiting efforts reflect this quite positively.

What is being advocated here is the mindset to pour better and more focused resources – proportionately – into those employees who face your customers and have the most touchpoints with them. In a shifting economy and sliding landscape of digital and analaog business, being able to spend your resources on front-line training is essential for a company to stand out. In order to combat evolving business models, tight staffing, and increasing customer expectations, you need to up your game to invest in more training for your employees who most come in contact with your customers.

Determine today to build a better company and go all in on employee training.

The best companies know that the reasons to spend more on training are worth every cent.

(per-learner image: brandonhallgroup; main image: pixabay)

Why Slow Learners May Be Ready For Rapid Growth

bamboo-forest-1245966_1280

In virtually every organization there are people who seem to never learn or grow. Oftentimes we classify them as disengaged, subversive, or troublemakers, and look to dismiss them.

I have observed repeatedly a fair number of people that have slow learning curves which takes them a while to learn the fundamentals of their job. Yet I have been amazed at how many have blossomed over a longer period of time than others into solid team members and even became strong leaders in their own right.

What was the cause for the transformation?

Many people grow in proportion like a bamboo tree.

When a bamboo tree is planted and watered it doesn’t sprout for the first year, or the second. Or the third. Or the fourth. It takes five full years for the typical bamboo plant to finally break ground.

Once it does, it is actually one of the fastest growing plants in the world, sometimes growing at a rate of 35 inches in a day.

What is the cause for this tremendous growth?

In the course of the four-year period of seeming nothingness, the tree is growing a complex underground network of roots. These roots are so vast and extensive, that if you were to uproot a grown tree you would find it difficult to do so because of the root system.

It’s roots store all that water and nutrients, and create a myriad of conduits to support the rapid growth of the tree when it’s time has come.

And when the tree has come to full maturity, it possesses a denser strength than brick or concrete and a higher tensile strength than steel.

Sit back and think of the people in your organization that don’t seem to be growing. Are they working hard? Listening? Are they staying loyal, staying put with your company?

These people might actually be growing under the surface in ways you may not notice. These could be future impact players who, with the right combination of water and nutrients – training, encouragement, and entrusted responsibility – could shoot up from their place and make their presence known.

Just because we don’t see anything happening on the outside – stellar performance, heads nodding in agreement, skills being mastered in our timeframe – does not mean your people are not learning and growing. They may very well be developing some strong roots underneath.

Every leader is responsible for giving their people the necessary ingredients for growth and development. If you withhold any ingredient, you stunt their growth. When you liberally apply training, vision, knowledge, trust, and other internal and external resources, you may see quick growth. But if you don’t see anything quickly, be patient and wait. They are growing, you just may not actually see it.

Invest your time into everybody. Don’t be prejudiced by the outward displays of growth and performance. You just might discover some people ripe for rapid growth.

People that will be strong as steel – or a bamboo tree – in their value and loyalty to your organization.

(image: pixabay)

%d bloggers like this: