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Fail to Train, Train to Fail

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It’s a very true statement. But does that mean a Department Head should refrain from spending money on training and developing their employees? This Organizational Development Professional says, NO. Money invested in your employees is money invested in your future success.

The real problem lies much deeper than the actual training and its costs. If you have employees that are going to take the training and run, you have employees who are already plotting their exit strategy and that my paranoid Boss is the deeper problem to consider.
Why are your employees looking to leave, escape, go onto better opportunities…..or is it all three of those reasons. Let’s examine these reasons and see how many describe your department:

LEAVE: The question you need to ask yourself is “WHY DO THEY WANT TO LEAVE, especially in this economy?” I have addressed this in a previous article:

Are your employees happy? Are they feeling appreciated in their job? No I am not talking about making them giggle and bringing them cupcakes and candy every day. No, I am not talking about walking up and giving them the insincere “Good Job” or “I appreciate what you’re doing here” as if your working an assembly line. NO, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT THROWING MORE MONEY AT THEM EITHER.

Employees want to feel as if they are a part of something. They want to go home at the end of the day or week feeling like they accomplished something, not like robots. They want to know they can be proud of their employment and employer, even if it’s flipping burgers. A person wants to know what they do matters. If they don’t, the grass always looks greener on the other pasture.

The employees plotting their ESCAPE: These are employees who are working in a hostile environment. They work for either a boss or supervisor who runs their department or business out of fear….you know that boss that starts the day with “I like to fire people” or cannot speak without using the works “write up, suspend, terminate, or fire.” These employees go home at night and watch reruns of “The Great Escape” to find ways to break away from their tormentor.

You as a tyrant boss might say, “So what, I am getting work out of them.” Yes, the bare minimum. Because every second they are not being micromanaged, they are networking their way out of there. They are on the internet searching for their rescue. They are plotting how to pay the boss back for their behavior. They are looking for ways to get out of work (SLIP, TRIP, and FALL). Do you have a very high

amount of people out on workers compensation? Sometimes it’s not the actual working environment; it’s the leadership that causes people to get injured on the job. Something to think about.

Finally, we have “LEAVE FOR BETTER OPPORTUNITIES.” Now this can always be a legitimate reason and that is why I left it last. But in reality, with the growing number of inexperienced people in leadership positions (because it’s CHEAPER (not cost effective) to hire inexperienced supervisors and managers and hope they will develop leadership skills, than spend a few extra bucks to hire experienced leaders).

How do you stop the “Better Opportunities” employee from leaving you? Really, I have to explain this one? If you have an outstanding employee who has constantly been “raising their own bar” and you as the boss have been reaping the benefits, you better be prepared to change how you treat that employee. Do not make the first mistake:

1: DO NOT FEEL THREATENED BY THIS GO GETTER.

2: EMBRACE THE ENERGY AND FIND A WAY TO KEEP FEEDING THIS PERSON POSITIVE ENERGY, because you don’t have to be a physicist to understand that if you start mixing negative with positive, you start to reduce the positive amount of energy…..remember math class ( 1 + -1 = 0 )

3. Continue to find ways to challenge this employee (In a positive way) until you can no longer do it then find a way to promote this employee to move up the chain so that this person is still benefitting the company.

(If I can’t have them NO ONE WILL) This is the problem selfish, narrow minded, self serving managers who are afraid to lose the person crawl into. They begin to sabotage the up and comer’s future, not understanding that if they develop and mentor the person and then let them continue up the productivity chain, they are helping the same company that is paying their salary. They forget the big team picture and are only focused on their own selfish EGO based agenda.

Bottom line, if you want your company to grow, you have to invest in training. If you want your company to change for the better, you have to empower training. If you want your managers and employees to develop better skills, you have to spend on training. But look at it this way, your investing in your company’s future. In many studies, it’s been proven that the companies that invest in their employees and managers development increase their company’s opportunities towards success.

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