Humans evolved by adapting and adjusting to change. We learned by experience to manage threats.
Businesses operate within competitive environments, but it is not just a Darwinian “survival of the fittest.” By understanding market demand, businesses can respond to customer needs … and if they innovate, improve, and differentiate themselves—they can become financially successful.
It’s the people within each company that recognize opportunities, solve problems, and provide solutions. Management guru Peter Drucker recommended that companies invest 5-15% of revenues on training and development. He was really saying that if a company’s greatest resources are its people, then they should be treated as assets to be developed. Employee knowledge and capabilities are the tools a company uses—to build its customer base.
Many professions require continuing education, but too often companies view training as “overhead” costs to be minimized, rather than as investments in people—and in the future of the business. Consequences of this short-sided thinking are mistakes, unsolved problems, negative customer experiences, lost time, and revenue.
Autumn is traditionally “back to school.” Because the marketplace is always changing—businesses are never out of school. To manage change, businesses should embrace continuous learning.
- The purpose for training should be clearly communicated to employees, and why improving specific job capabilities is good for the company.
- Training should have direct application to each employee’s job, whether it is to expand knowledge, build skills, or improve collaboration within teams.
- All company leaders should fully commit to training.
- Company leaders, managers, and supervisors should become coaches, use constructive feedback, work with employees to improve specific behaviors, and monitor everyone’s progress.
Job specific learning is crucial for employee development. Engaged employees are better at providing quality products and services to their company’s customers.
Success is when all company leaders and employees do the right things at the right time. Whether training is applying job specific information, or about building a positive company culture … there is no substitute for learning.