“You don’t build a business. You build people – and then the people build the business.” – Zig Ziglar
The truth in that statement is so profound that I say to myself, “why don’t more business executives understand this?” I have been speaking a lot recently to executives and directors about the importance of developing employees. One of my favorite things to say is that an organization only grows as much as its people are allowed to grow.
Sometimes, I get a lot of head nods that indicate to me that at least some in the audience are agreeing with me. Then there are the dissenters that challenge me. Healthy debate, as long as it is respectful and constructive, is never a bad thing. But I must admit that I hear some pretty lame excuses from people that don’t think training or professional development are important. Here are 3:
Why should we hire consultants or trainers from the outside when we can do all of the training in-house? Not a terrible question; however, while your inside trainers are more than capable of teaching new hires the benefits of your organization’s specific products and services, they may not be as strong on the soft-skills – leadership, conflict management, project development, sales & service, etc. For stuff like that, you will benefit more from hiring an expert in those areas to come in with an objective point of view and a clean slate. This person will take an unbiased look at what is happening and will try to discover the root cause of the issue. Then, he or she can design a program to address the issue and provide solutions. Trainers from inside the organization may not be able to be unbiased and objective. Or, perhaps, they are part of the problem.
Training costs too much. Well, you get what you pay for I guess. Yes, there are costs associated with hiring professional trainers. You don’t expect us to work for free, do you? Many companies that have a great need for professional development are the same ones that haven’t kept up with the ever-changing demands of the marketplace. My point here is that some organizations really need to prioritize and realize that there are things that you must spend money on. If they don’t start to concentrate on helping the employees get better, they do so at their own peril.
If we provide all of this training, our best employees will just leave for better opportunities. Get over it. That’s the world we live in. If you are running a business, you have to accept that eventually some of your best employees will leave. And know this….if you decide against providing training and development opportunities to those same employees that you think will leave, they are already polishing their resumes and are looking to leave you anyway.
It’s time to get serious about attracting and retaining top talent. Professional development is guaranteed to help you do just that.
IT’S ALMOST HERE! My new book, What’s In It For Me? The Driving Force Behind Making Decisions & Better Leadership, will be available soon!! Be on the lookout for more information.