I discovered another company this week that does not see the need to train staff. There is no training department, and Human Resources have been told by the CEO that there is no need to focus on training. As it turns out, the CEO and I are connected in LinkedIn, so I sent her an email and asked:
What are your employee skill deficiencies?
Much to my surprise she responded with an honest answer, that she didn’t know off-hand, and wanted to know the purpose of my question.
So I continued the email conversation with an appreciation for her honesty, and that I had heard that training was not on the agenda anymore. In my mind this means there are zero skill deficiencies, and I was excited to hear how this company had pulled this off. In 25 plus years I had not found a single company that had perfectly aligned skill sets and was eager to learn how their process could be duplicated.
Well, as you can imagine, there was a pause. In fact for over a week, and just when I was about to follow-up, she replied and told me that in fact there were quite a few skill deficiencies, many common ones, and that it may be the reason certain projects and objectives may not be getting accomplished. Dumbstruck once again with her honesty, I asked her if she wants to change this situation. I’m currently waiting on her response.
You see, not training employees was going to be the way forward, until someone bothered to question that decision. Yes, HR should have done it, but she was uncomfortable doing it so I did it for her. If we are going to serve the companies we work for than we need to do our jobs well. And at times that means questioning a decision, process or in this case a missing component for employees to perform well.
I will admit that this CEO is an open-minded leader, and you may not be working with that kind of mindset currently. If you need help communicating your concerns to senior management, let’s brain-storm on the phone and come up with a strategy. It may or may not work, but never walk away from a bad processes because you fear trying.