Too many training managers tie the value of employee development (AKA) training, to the simple fact that the company pays for it. And while it is obvious that a lack of funding is a sure fire connection to a lack of value, it is but only one indication that this function adds to the organization’s benefit.
In fact, many companies cannot articulate why they have a training function, expect to list what the negative impression it would bring on to the company if they lacked training. “It would be harder to recruit if we didn’t have a training function, and it adds to our efforts for employee retention if we can list training as a perk.”
Yet if you really want to know if your CEO values employee development, I would suggest you look for these signs:
- There is a training department or at the very least is a job responsibility assigned to a senior manager like the HR Director.
- The CEO talks with the training manager at least quarterly as to what have been the target development projects and their results. Also the CEO wants an update on future projects coming down the pipeline.
- The company requires a strategic vision for training, and an annual training project plan.
- The training function is part of the initial discussions when system changes, new products & services, acquisitions/mergers or policy & procedure changes are coming soon.
- The CEO and other executive managers regularly discuss why particular training events are needed and how the organization will benefit.
- A majority of management wants to participate in the learning process themselves, as participants and facilitators.
In organizations that have leadership that understand the value of employee development, it is so much more involved than a cheerleading HR Director and/or Training Manager. It is part of the culture and embraced by a majority of the management team in tangible actions. It really is more important to “walk the talk” but at the very least “talk the talk.”
If your organization does not seem to value training, it is time to schedule a Training Physical and find out what can be done to save the function before it becomes terminal.