How to Make Staff Training Pay for Itself

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As Nido Qubein, business expert, says, “The best time to train your managers and employees is when you feel your company is so busy it doesn’t have the time to train them.”

Let’s look at the psychology of that statement. If your team is so busy that is doesn’t have time to improve the way they are doing things, it could be stealing literally thousands of dollars off of your bottom line. Why? Because one slightly out of kilter practice by your staff could be wasting an enormous amount of time and resources. Engaging in a training program focused on a key result area, can create a tremendous return on investment.

So, why don’t more small business owners invest in their managers and employees?

Here are some of the answers I have heard from business owners in my research on this question:

1. We don’t have the time for it.

2. We don’t have a budget for it.

3. Our employees don’t want to be bothered with extra learning requirements.

4. Our employees are sharp enough and they don’t need to learn anything new.

5. We are afraid if we train them and improve their performance they will leave and take their skills with them. (We would rather they remain less competent and work for us.)

6. We don’t see the value in it.

7. We just don’t believe in training and development.

8. We are just plain lazy.

If any or many of the above responses match some of your thoughts on investing in training your employees, please consider the following:

• Xerox Corporation reported that for every dollar they spend on training, they get a return of $22.

• IBM Corporation reported that they received $26 for every dollar they invested on training.

• Motorola Corporation reported that they get a ROI of $33 for every dollar spent on training.

Imagine if your stock broker could guarantee you those kinds of results. You would buy every bit of stock he would recommend.

Not only does a regular training program for key result areas result in a more productive and profitable company, it is an excellent tool for manager and employee retention.

Like the saying goes, “When you are green you grow and when you’re ripe you rot.” At the point of departure from their company, most managers and employees who are leaving, are feeling like they are going nowhere in the position they are working and they want out.

Donna Fuscaldo reported in Ragan Communications, that “Nobody accepts a position with the intent of doing the same job for his or her entire career. People want to grow professionally; if they can’t, chances are they will leave. If your company needs to attract and retain highly skilled workers, then you better make sure you are providing growth opportunities.”

I know of one engineer who wanted to take some additional company paid training that would increase his skill sets and allow him to do his job even more effectively. When he inquired about being allowed to take this training to help him increase his value to his company, he was told he should already have those skills, and if he felt he still needed to acquire them, he should refer to the (outdated) online tutorials. He is now seeking employment elsewhere.

For another example of the benefits of training your managers and employees, we need only look at the Detroit Tigers™ Baseball Club. It is no secret that this team, like all Major League Baseball teams, invests heavily in training.

The Detroit Tigers employ the following full time coaches and trainers:

• Bench coach

• First base coach

• Third base coach

• Hitting coach

• Pitching coach

• Bullpen coach

• Bullpen catcher

• Strength & Conditioning Coach

• Trainer

Their players and coaches report to spring training beginning in February and engage in an intense and focused practice initiative through the month of March. Once the season begins, they continue to take batting, fielding, pitching, running, along with strength and endurance training, on an almost daily basis.

Why do they do this? Because, like all of the other Major League Baseball teams, they do this in order to maximize their investment and their player’s potential. They are then able to compete at the highest level possible. They have to be consistently at their best. The stakes are high and so are the rewards. No stone is left unturned. They are totally committed to the investment of ongoing training and development.

You don’t have to be a Major League Baseball CEO to understand and use training and development for your managers and employees, but it doesn’t hurt to think like one. So, as Qubein recommends, “The best time to train your managers and employees is when you feel your company is so busy you don’t have the time to train them.” When you embrace this paradigm, chances are you will be on your way to leading your small business on a successful and profitable journey.

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