I asked an HR Manager, “why don’t you have a training function?” And bless her heart she answered with a whole-hearted honesty that left me speechless!
She said, “Training is one of those things that costs money and prevents performance problems. Not only will it cost me money out of my budget, but I might have to reduce HR staff because we aren’t handling performance issues, terminations and we would have fewer people to recruit.”
Like I said, I was speechless, which is probably good since what I was thinking to myself was Duh!
Now while she was honest with me, I doubt she would ever be this stupid to tell her CEO this same reason. So I asked her how she defends the lack of professional development to the senior managers at the company. She explained that none of them have ever had a personal experience with training that they saw returned on the investment. Sad, huh?
So yes, if no one has ever personally experienced a positive result from training themselves, there is not going to be any sponsor willing to promote the cause of spending time and money on developing employees. With an HR Manager that feels well-trained employees will result in her having less work, which means less purpose in her mind, who is there to fight for the cause?
I love a challenge, so I am setting out to meet the CEO. I want to educate him on the value of skilled employees. I want him to see that training is a strategic partner that will help the company achieve their stated goals. What I am still not prepared to answer is why HR is not driving this initiative. I guess I might have to be honest.
What do you think?