Sending your people on a training course can be a pain in the proverbial… it costs a lot of money, you have to give them time off to attend the course and when they come back, for a while at least, they aren’t as good as they were before.
So why do it?
On the other hand a well trained workforce is generally a motivated one and this has a whole range of positive benefits – efficiency, cost savings because staff turnover is lower and loyal people working longer hours.
So, what’s the answer? Do you develop your people or do you not?
Of course you develop them, it’s just a question of taking the blinkers off and understanding that ‘development’ doesn’t necessarily mean sending someone on a course. It might do, but not necessarily.
There are a number of concepts that combine nicely at this point. The first thing for Enterprise Britain to realise is that it is not the boss’s responsibility to develop their staff. No-one can take that responsibility except the person who needs development.
Instead the boss’s role is to create the environment in which someone can choose to develop themselves.
Sound like too much management BS? It did to me too, to start with until I really started to think about it and what development actually meant. A training course is all well and good in the right circumstances and I’ve already written about how to get the most of a course in a previous blog.
But a course certainly isn’t the only development opportunity there is. When was the last time you gave one of your team a book to read? I suspect the answer is either ‘never’ or ‘I do it every week’ – there’s no middle ground. But if the answer is ‘never’ I wonder why not? Actually, I think I know the answer… probably because you think your team member would look at you as if you had grown a very large green tail and give a polite suggestion where you might like to put the tome.
My response to this is very simple. It’s the staff member’s responsibility to develop themselves and yours to create the environment. If you are prepared to invest in them by sending on them courses, they should be prepared to invest in themselves by supplementing the courses with other development opportunities.
Reading a book is one of those opportunities and I’ll talk about the merits of others next week.