Training your staff — more valuable than you realise
Training matters. I hadn’t realised how much until I read a
chapter of management book What Were They Thinking? on the train this
morning. Pfeffer says that when you invest in people, you’re rewarded with
people who stick with you for longer, do their job better, and 'have a stronger
sense of their own competency and capability'.
Investment in staff goes hand in hand with financial
‘Companies on Fortune’s best places to work list have
out-performed benchmark indices financially and are also among the leaders in
their investments in their people. The Container Store’s employees average 162
hours of training a year. [That’s 20 full days!] Textile manufacturer Milliken
requires workers to participate in 40 hours of training annually. [5 full
Pfeffer, J. What Were They Thinking? Boston: Harvard Business
School Press, 2007, page 30.
My boss, Lynda, understands the value of training —
unsurprisingly! Lynda has arranged one-on-one coaching for me when I needed it,
assigned colleagues to teach me what I needed to know, invited external experts
to present at our monthly staff-development afternoons, and welcomed me to sit
in on any of the training my colleagues run for clients.
Naturally, Lynda has staff
who stick around for years and who love working for her.
Useful stuff sticks
When I think of the training sessions I’ve attended, I
realise that gems from those sessions have transformed my work life. For
example, our recent up-skilling session with Hilary Bryan from The Training
Practice gave me powerful insights into the world of policy advisors. When
working with policy advisors, I now target my training directly at the problems
they face—and I do it with confidence.
As a trainer, living and breathing training, I sometimes
forget the value of what I’m offering. I worry that workshop participants might
forget to use some of the techniques I present to them. I fear that habit is a
stronger influence than a one-day workshop.
So thank goodness for 20-minute train rides! This morning’s
reading reminded me I offer value to the people on my workshops.