By Dennis A. Kelley, MBA
I had a conversation recently with a concerned business executive. He was worried about how the current economic challenges would impact his business. This conversation has been going on in many offices and boardrooms these days. Some of his concerns included how his employees would deal with their customers and how to take advantage of the opportunities that exist in the market, despite current conditions.
Our conversation turned to the need for continued training to keep the employees’ skills current and educate them as well on the new opportunities. He related to me how the company was considering cuts to the training budget to save expenses. My advice to him, and to you, is to reconsider these cuts. Instead, look for ways to deliver training more efficiently.
Why is training so important?
1. Skilled workers are a necessity, not a luxury. As markets shift and we become even more global, productivity and worker efficiency are becoming even more important to the bottom line. Customers also become more particular about how they spend their money. Your employees will need to know how to respond to these changes. If you reduce the training available to them, you will find your company struggling to remain competitive. A skilled workforce is not a luxury anymore—it is a necessity.
2. Well-trained employees are productive and loyal. Companies are forced to run lean. They can’t carry a weak workforce.
Most companies are forced to run lean and cannot afford to carry weak employees. Finding new employees and getting them up to speed about your company is costly and time-consuming and impacts your business success. Retain your top talent by keeping them motivated, engaged, and productive. Help them to improve and grow and they are more likely to remain loyal to your company.
3. The important thing to realize is just how important it is to keep your team learning and productive. While the training budget may seem like an easy target for cost cutting, it will hurt you in the long run. Progressive companies with a strategy and focus on growth and profitability will recognize the critical nature of a highly skilled, motivated, and educated workforce. Now is the time to invest in your team so they can be more productive and produce better quality, higher sales, and more loyal customers that will produce greater profits.
Look hard at your training programs and budget and adjust where necessary. Look for more efficient ways to deliver training but don’t stop or even make major cuts in the amount and quality of training you provide. When the economy starts to turn positive again, you will be very happy you made the decision to invest in the human assets of your company.
About the Author(s)
Dennis A. Kelley, MBA, is the founder and president of The D. Kelley Group and a certified business coach specializing in the development of business owners, executives, individuals and organizations. He is the author of Achieving Unlimited Success. See www.AchievingUnlimitedSuccess.com.