Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The high cost of a low training budget

If you train your staff, there’s a risk they’ll leave; 

if you don’t, there’s a risk they’ll stay.

Whether you are in sales, service, technology, or some other field, learning is valuable to your ability to earn income as well as to enjoy life.  So if you are managing people, how are you helping them deliver more value and enrich their lives?

I've managed hundreds of people and without fail, the top employees are always wanting to learn.  This is true for all types of  people I've managed from sales to technologists and everything in between.  As a general rule, the technologists have the biggest passion for learning because the field changes so much.

I believe in training so my training budget is always an important line item.  I strongly agree with the quote that started this blog: "If you train your staff, there's a risk they'll leave; if you don't, there's a risk they'll stay."  I have found that when employees see they have an annual opportunity to truly learn something valuable, they almost never leave (assuming you are paying and treating them fairly).  And the company gets the added benefit of having more productive employees.

You need to ensure you are providing your team a sizable training budget.   Don't simply dictate the training, look at your upcoming 3 year plan and decide what areas are of mutual interest to the employee and the company.  On occasion, let them select a topic that is not a clear fit for their current role but might benefit them or the company in some fashion.

In any case, don't limit sales people to only sales training or finance people to financial training.  Allow them to explore other areas that might help them better understand peers in other areas if they have an interest.  I strongly encourage transferring people between departments to create empathy to others issues.

And of course, everyone needs some technology training.  The best bang for the average consumer technology training buck is  $25 a month for unlimited training per person on all sorts of technology topics in a fantastic format allowing you to skip directly to the part of the training you want/need.

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