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Empowering your team is empowering yourself

Friend: Many companies believe it’s not cost effective…

Me: Care to you explain?

Friend: It takes money and resources to train employees and then chances are at some point they will leave the company and go work somewhere else taking with them the skills and expertise gained. That is why it’s not cost effective.

Cue *mind blown* sound effect…

To be fair, this was part of a broad conversation about the importance of training in the workforce that we had with friends where different opinions were exchanged.

But this one truly made me think 🤔 … because it is true.

  • When did employee improvement and growth become an impediment rather than being the desired goal in business?
  • When did mutual trust become such a rare ability instead of a common belief in business?
  • When did people in business stop understanding that when you lift others up you will rise with them?

I am very well aware this might sound “poetic” and to some of you maybe even a bit “naïve”.

Well, trust me it is far from poetic and it truly isn’t naïve!

Let me explain…

We all know the reality of the different “practical and logistical” reasons given by companies in order not to provide training in the workplace. Which raises the question: when did we become our own worst enemies in business?

This conversation made me think of a quote by Richard Branson that says:

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to” Richard Branson @richardbranson

In my opinion, that is what it all boils down to: Managerial skills.

Practical and human.

Admittedly, we know that companies are faced with ever changing industries, technological advancements, market shifts and trends, you name it! But that’s exactly it, to remain competitive companies cannot afford not to keep up with these changes and advancements.

As such, managers need to capitalize on this by investing in employee skill development.

Unfortunately, not all managers see it that way and don’t want to invest in training their employees.

I believe it is a manager’s responsibility to lead and focus on the growth of the team (s)he manages and allow consequently the company to thrive. In order to see growth you need to support your team and encourage them to develop and enhance their skill-set for present and future company needs.

How can some managers be hesitant and skeptical as to the importance of offering opportunities and encouraging training and development of relevant work skills and expect to grow, develop and be competitive as a company?

The numbers speak loud and clear and it is necessary for companies and managers to pay attention.

In a November 14th 2017 HBR.org article by David W. Ballard, he states some interesting data regarding the effect of managerial support that was concluded in a study relating to the U.S. workforce:

“For employees who lack supervisor support and encouragement for career development, only 15% say they their employer is providing them with opportunities to develop the technical skills they will need in the future, only 20% say their employer provides training in necessary “soft skills,” such as teamwork and communication. Just 8% report having the opportunity to develop necessary leadership and management skills. With a supportive supervisor, those numbers jump to 75% and higher.” (HBR.org)

W171027_BALLARD_SUPERVISORSUPPORT1-850x570
Source: © HBR.org
American Psychological Association Survey of 1.076 FULL and PART TIME Adult Employees in the U.S., October 2017

Whoa! Powerful numbers!

Times are changing and so should your company training policy.

Competition is fiercely adapting and so should your company.

How? Invest in your company.

I know what you are thinking

… wait, Natasha weren’t we talking about employee training just now? What is this about investing in your company?

Yes, you read correctly. Invest in your company.

Well, they call it human resources for a reason 🙂

Employees are your company’s number one resource, your engine, your asset, not your weakness or liability! … but that will be a topic for another blog post 🙂

When you invest in your employees’ development, you invest in your company.

When manager’s support career development it makes employees feel motivated, valued and increases their trust – which in turn results in loyalty (in relation to Branson’s quote).

As  David W. Ballard reported:

“Lack of supervisor support for career development is also linked to important organizational outcomes. For working Americans without supervisor support, only 48% say they are motivated to do their best at work, 39% are satisfied with their job, 16% say their company or organization makes them feel valued, and 22% would recommend their organization as a good place to work. If those figures don’t make business leaders take note, consider that, in the absence of supervisor support, more than half of U.S. workers say they don’t trust their employer and intend to seek employment outside the organization within the next year.”

Employees need to feel valued. They need to feel that the environment they are working in is one that pushes them to better themselves, allows them to grow professionally and acknowledges them accordingly. And if employees feel valued, they won’t have a reason to leave. On the contrary, they will deliver… and over deliver.

As is clear to you by now, I truly believe that training is money well spent in businesses (cost-effective) and that it results in the highest ROI (Return On Investment). That is, the highest human ROI that consequently delivers the highest business ROI and at the end of the day, isn’t ROI the ultimate business goal?

I also believe that to be able to find a solution you need to focus on the reason, not just the result.

👉 Empowering your team is empowering yourself.

So ‘think out of the box’ and change the narrative!

Embrace the concept (and fact!) that business success is not defined only by the final numbers (result) because those numbers can only exist and are only achieved through personnel growth and empowerment (reason).

“Empowerment isn’t a buzzword among leadership gurus. It’s a proven technique where leaders give their teams the appropriate training, tools, resources, and guidance to succeed.” John Rampton

Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comment section!

Good vibes only and have a great day!
Natasha

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