Category Archives: #WorkCulture

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)

Start Your Week By Driving Culture

Do you start your week off with a sense of dread of how you’ll get your teams motivated and inspired this week? Or do you get overwhelmed as to how to you can make culture deeper but, wow, there’s just so much work to do?

Having a clearly defined expectation of your organization’s culture is always the foremost step, but it’s the consistent application of culture throughout the week that will enhance employee engagement and make your teams synergize with purpose.

So to give you a starting point for success, here is a simple Monday checklist to get you started driving culture this week:

  1. Read your company’s culture and mission statement.
  2. Make sure culture and mission are posted in work and employee areas highlighted often to prevent the “wallpaper effect”.
  3. Start your leadership team off with a “temperature check” of how culture is and a commitment to make culture Job #1 this week.
  4. Through intercoms, team meetings, line checks, calls, personal interactions, make sure to promote your culture at every interaction.
  5. Thread culture through every project, strategic plan, financial forecast, training sessions, and every other project in an effort to bring cohesive engagement.
  6. Pick 5 employees (1 per day) and find a “temperature check” time to ask about cutlure and empower them to build it.
  7. Schedule time for yourself midway through the week to stop and asses how YOU are impacting culture.
  8. Wrap up your work week with a reflection or a “plus-minus” of how your team enhanced culture and what next week’s steps are.

I kept this checklist simple because we have a tendency to over-complicate the important in our lives. By keeping this list before you and reviewing it every morning, you will see consistent, then amazing, growth in your culture and how your people will fully lock-in to promoting the mission and vision of the organization as well.

Feel free to adapt and tailor this checklist to your individual and corporate needs. I attached two links to previous posts I’ve written to help you in your staff 1-to-1’s and reviewing your days and weeks. These strategies will help this checklist become a living organism in your company.

Keeping it simple is key, but keeping it a priority is vital. Make culture happen this week!

(image: pixabay)

Caution, Your Employees Will Fill In The Blanks

Have you ever heard the saying:

“It’s not what’s said, it’s what is unsaid that speaks the loudest”

Some leaders operate under the “need to know” philosophy when it comes to communicating important news to their employees. Others might give a partial statement or narrative and leave key elements of a message out. And still others might not say anything at all in an effort to not give attention to a situation.

The problem with these approaches is that it ignores the basic human nature to “fill in the blanks” when no information is given to important matters.

Employees, both individually and collectively, need proper communication and correct information. They need to perform their jobs, to understand the health of the company, and to know where their future lies within the organization. And when that information is not given, they will start to fill in the “blanks” or gaps to make sense of what is going on.

When your people fill in the gaps left open by your communication, they oftentimes come up with the wrong conclusions. These lead to mistrust, panic, apathy, or division and threaten to derail the culture of the organization. And if they conclude the missing information correctly, this alos leads to mistrust of leadership that they weren’t trusted to be told.

Here are some strategies to communicate and fill in the blanks and close the information gaps in your messages to your people.

Here is what you can do to fill in the blanks before your people do:

  • Jump on the communication immediately. This company should have had an immediate meeting with the staff and contacted everyone to explain the reasons for the events that transpired. The longer they waited the more chance for incorrect information to be manufactured and disseminated.
  • Be upfront, honest, and transparent. Staff like it when you talk straight with them. Give them the faacts and be brave enough to have those difficult discussions, particularly if their is doubt or indicators contrary to what you’re saying. The more this occurs, the more your words carry weight.
  • Give opportunity to listen and answer questions. By keeping an ear to the grapevine, you can gain a lot of insight into what people are feeling. Take every chance to talk with people in groups or individually to hear them and counter their fears and anxiety with the facts and reassure them.
  • Speak to the culture, the mission, and the vision. Finish every conversation by leading people out of the negativity and forward looking to the bigger picture. This is not an attempt to falsely redirect, but rather to truthfully re-calibrate everyone’s thinking towards the overall goal and where you are all heading. The more culture and vision are promoted in your organization, the less likely there will be room for filling in the blanks with anything off-base. Your people will be more readily able to say what is congruent to the organization and squelch rumors and gaps altogether.

Keep your finger on the pulse of your people. Close those communication gaps and work diligently to fill in the blanks that lead to culture breakdown.

(image: pixabay)

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