"Money spent on the brain is never spent in vain." Joe Griffith
Do you think employee training is unimportant to your business? Would you take a flight without a "trained pilot?" Would you want our military untrained? Would you want your loved ones cared for by untrained emergency medical technicians? Of course not - the questions are absurd. Training is a way of life for professionals, semi-professionals, and most tradespersons. And, as an entrepreneur, are you not a professional, directing a staff to carry out your commands? Training is not a lesser chore you get around to someday; it is necessary to the success of your business.
Surely you know that untrained employees cost you more than their wages. They can cost you customers, they can cause you losses- they can cost you your profits and your cash. And what excuses do you have? "I am too busy, my employees are not interested, and I can't afford it. I don't have professional employees, just semi-literate minimum wage types. I tried it once and it did not work."
If I have touched a familiar chord, it is time to get rid of the "anal retentive thinking." Read the rest of this column - hopefully you will rethink your ideas of training. And if you want to know why you should spend the time and money "coddling your help," here are some reasons you will find tough to disagree with:
* Training makes your employees feel that they are part of your company family.
* Training programs demonstrate you are interested in your employees' professional development or skill enhancement.
* When employees realize you are investing in them, they reciprocate with loyalty.
* Ongoing training helps to create the reputation of a great place to work and results in fewer wage demands, less absenteeism, and a longer list of job applicants.
* Knowledgeable employees make fewer mistakes.
* Training instills pride in product and service.
* Training creates a knowledgeable workforce - a resource for promotion and interchangeability.
Don't take my word for all the wonderful things employee training will do for you - check out this Web site: http://www.bizmove.com/personnel/m4d.htm
Here is a sample of what they have to say:
"Research has shown specific benefits that a small business receives from training and developing its workers, including:
Increased productivity. Reduced employee turnover. Increased efficiency resulting in financial gains. Decreased need for supervision.
Employees frequently develop a greater sense of self-worth, dignity and well being as they become more valuable to the firm and to society. Generally, they will receive a greater share of the material gains that result from their increased productivity. These factors give them a sense of satisfaction through the achievement of personal and company goals."
Now that I have made a few arguments for training, I will not leave you "high and dry" so to speak. In our next two columns, I will present to you a simple six-point training program lasting one hour per week for six weeks as the start of a long-term educational development program that can become part of your business strategy.
Here is a glimpse of the weekly training topics you will be reading about:
1. Why we are in business together.
2. Why you, as an employee, are part of the family - what is expected of you.
3. What do you know about our products and service? Some beginning basics.
4. How do we make money - what happens if we don't?
5. Customer care- we all sell.
6. Where do we go from here- and are you coming along for the journey?
You will find that investing an hour a week with your employees will give you immediate payback. Perhaps you have someone with no interest in your efforts - read between the lines. Is that person interested in their job?
Your employee reaction to your plans will range from enthusiasm to "do we have to?" Your task will be to show how it is in their best interest to work for a more prosperous company with benefits to all. Don't expect everyone to jump in "gung ho." After all, if this is new to you, so it will be for everyone in your organization.
If your experience is typical of many, you may be asking why you did not do this earlier. Spend the time and I believe that you will find it challenging, informative, and stimulating. Building a "rah rah" team can add some zest to your business.
Article © Copyright 2002 Dr. Paul E. Adams. Syndicated by Paradigm News, Inc.