Training Tied To Company Failure

no trainingHow would you like to be the training leader responsible for your company’s failure to achieve their goals next year?  What would you do today if you could see into the future and your company’s failure was tied to your training function?

I’ve seen it more times than I care to admit.  A company that has avoided any serious employee development lands up failing and is forced to merge with another company or close the doors themselves.  Employees are motivated to learn, but many are unsure of what skills they will need to perform their jobs in the future.

One of the fastest growing companies in the country is running without a training function that knows how to do their job.  Their “training leader” is without any background in human resources, let alone training development, and corporate senior leadership is allowing this function to blow in the wind accomplishing nothing of consequence.

So like so many other organizations that fail, they are not preparing for changes that have not yet been identified, the unknown.  Good training functions prepare employees for the challenges facing them today.  Great training functions work on today’s needs and the strategic needs of the unknown future.  When training either doesn’t exist, or is being run by unskilled individuals, the company is not getting prepared to succeed.  They are actually getting prepared to fail.

If you want to know if your company has a future, look to the quality of the learning function.  Are they building the future, or are they sitting on their hands waiting for tomorrow to arrive?

If you are the CEO, it is time to get your hands dirty and find out what your training function is accomplishing.  It may sound tricky, but ask your training leader what they have done this past year that has prepared employees for next year.  Either they will give you some measurable events, or they will give you a bunch of numbers that equates to people trained.

Realize that you are talking with the person responsible for growing the skills of your employees.  If this person is out to lunch, let’s talk about what you need to do to put things in order next year!

When Will Training Start Next Year?

thumbnailCA4Z1XR6If I were to ask you when your training will begin for employees next year, would you think it obvious the answer is in January?  For many organizations, training employees is not something that happens all 12 months of a year.

In many companies, the training function goes dormant throughout the year for various excuses, I mean reasons.  January is a month to recover from the holidays, so no time for training.  June-August is for Summer Vacations, so no time for training.  November and December are the holidays, so no time for training.  If you live with this calendar, half the year is a no training zone!

Add to these selective months that are completely blocked off, we have our 4-day work weeks because a holiday falls in that week.  No time for training since this is a short week.  Take a look at your training calendar and see if you have any of these weeks blocked for no training.

I once ran a training department for a mortgage division, and the end of the month was crazy busy, so we never scheduled training around the end of the month.  That is a business reason to divert resources, not a calendar excuse.

But training is not always defined as a learning event.  Sometimes it is the hiring process, or the planning process that is avoided.  Sometimes these no training time periods are a time to kick back rather than catch up.  The way I look at it, the training function needs to be engaged every working day of the year.  Period!  You are receiving compensation for every working day of the year, so it is only fair that you exchange that compensation with productivity.

The last month of the year is notoriously slow for the training function, and yet it is a great time to catch up, clean up and get ready to hit the road running in the new year.  Spend some time with your team charting your new year’s resolutions, and create development plans for the staff.  If you are the oil that keeps your company’s engine running on all cylinders, then it is important to keep that oil fresh and working properly.

When will your training start next year?  The answer is January 2nd!