To Train or Not To Train?


Is there really a serious question in whether to train or not to train your employees?  Is there really a time you would avoid training skills?  Of course there is, but most companies that limit training or are avoiding certain skill sets are usually not doing it for the right reasons.

Back to the basics.  We train employees to perform skills they do not possess but need in order to perform job tasks.  We train employees when processes change, regulations are tweaked or we want everyone to refocus on a particular job function.  In other words, we should be training and learning all the time.

We should not train people we plan to terminate soon.  We should not train a workforce in any company we are planning to close or sell soon.  We should not train anyone if our plan is to lose money or get our stockholders to sell off.  We should not train if we don’t have retention goals, or we want people to quit as soon as something better comes along.  We should not train if we are striving not to be an employer of choice.

So if your goals need to be achieved, you want to retain good employees and attract new talent why is your training function lacking, uh, training events?  Why is the training department one or two people trying to do everything?  Why are training budgets often just salaries, and nothing for training materials, platforms, consultants, and workshops?

Yet my biggest alarm for folks that find value in having a training department, is why don’t you require them to have an annual training plan, and one they are accountable to implementing.  How are they allowed to accomplish minimal tasks week after week and you continue to pay them?  Do you want a training function, or just a window display for recruiting purposes?

if you lead the training function you have two choices as I see it.  You can either start leading a productive function that is out there making a difference, or you can work on your resume.  Because it has never been more certain today then ever before, “when things get tough, the first thing to go is training!”  Unless you are doing your job correctly!

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