Train Your Employees

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Last week, Cal Evans retweeted James McGovern, who originated this tweet:

Training Tweet

I’m not a fan of catchy sayings and one-line wonders, but this tweet got me thinking. How many companies, especially in the economic world we’re in, think about training as something that they don’t want to do, or an investment they can’t afford?

There are any number of reasons why companies don’t train their employees. Perhaps they made a financial decision that the business is doing fine, and such an investment doesn’t make sense. Perhaps they see their employees as interchangeable parts that can be replaced, and investing in a particular employee would represent a massive cost that might never be repaid by their productivity. Perhaps they figure that the employee’s job isn’t that important to the company to merit any sort of training.

But failing to train an employee, any employee, might be the biggest mistake a company can make. Employees are partially responsible for the success of the company. The most successful companies listen to their employees, and take their suggestions and ideas to heart. The least successful companies listen only to the executive team, as though that team is the only place where good ideas originate. But employees that don’t have the appropriate level of training, understanding and intuition will never generate the ideas to keep a business growing.

In technology this is especially true, because technology changes so frequently. Training employees in new technologies will help keep them in tune with the community, the development efforts, and the products on the market. In turn, this will make their ideas better, and their suggestions more business ready. And the dividends will pay.

As for whether or not those “investments” you made will walk out the door, remember this: Microsoft spends millions every year on its Research and Development operation just to keep pace. Most large companies do the same, because they realized a long time ago that while sometimes the money might be wasted, having the next big idea could be a huge game changer in any industry. They’re not afraid to spend money in search of new business opportunities, and neither should you. Training is a key component of that, and without it, new ideas won’t flow into your business the way you need to keep on top of your market.

Brandon Savage is the author of Mastering Object Oriented PHP and Practical Design Patterns in PHP

Posted on 9/11/2009 at 1:00 am
Categories: Business Management
Tags: , , ,

ozz (@alexandrusavin) wrote at 9/14/2009 4:19 am:

I don’t know how it is in USA but at least in Romania (where I live and work) it is quite simple to keep the employee after he was trained. We negotiate a contract that obligates the employee not to quite for a predefined period of time. Of course the financial part is not neglected too. So here, at least the big companies are really interested in training their employees because they “shoot two rabbits” at once : 1. they have better trained employees and 2. they are obliged to not leave the company. Easy, isn’t it?

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