Train Your Employees
Out Of Date Warning
Languages change. Perspectives are different. Ideas move on. This article was published on September 11, 2009 which is more than two years ago. It may be out of date. You should verify that technical information in this article is still current before relying upon it for your own purposes.
Last week, Cal Evans retweeted James McGovern, who originated this tweet:
I’m not a fan of catchy sayings and one-line wonders, but this tweet got me thinking. How many companies, especially in the economic world we’re in, think about training as something that they don’t want to do, or an investment they can’t afford?
There are any number of reasons why companies don’t train their employees. Perhaps they made a financial decision that the business is doing fine, and such an investment doesn’t make sense. Perhaps they see their employees as interchangeable parts that can be replaced, and investing in a particular employee would represent a massive cost that might never be repaid by their productivity. Perhaps they figure that the employee’s job isn’t that important to the company to merit any sort of training.
But failing to train an employee, any employee, might be the biggest mistake a company can make. Employees are partially responsible for the success of the company. The most successful companies listen to their employees, and take their suggestions and ideas to heart. The least successful companies listen only to the executive team, as though that team is the only place where good ideas originate. But employees that don’t have the appropriate level of training, understanding and intuition will never generate the ideas to keep a business growing.
In technology this is especially true, because technology changes so frequently. Training employees in new technologies will help keep them in tune with the community, the development efforts, and the products on the market. In turn, this will make their ideas better, and their suggestions more business ready. And the dividends will pay.
As for whether or not those “investments” you made will walk out the door, remember this: Microsoft spends millions every year on its Research and Development operation just to keep pace. Most large companies do the same, because they realized a long time ago that while sometimes the money might be wasted, having the next big idea could be a huge game changer in any industry. They’re not afraid to spend money in search of new business opportunities, and neither should you. Training is a key component of that, and without it, new ideas won’t flow into your business the way you need to keep on top of your market.
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