Merge's Blog

Looking for ways to develop employees? The simplest is to invest in training

Earlier this month, I promised that this year I would give you a series of frequent quick video blogs focusing specifically on ways to develop employees – explicit, pragmatic and actionable ideas to develop and grow your people not only into accomplished professionals, but also the future leaders in your organization.  Today, I am excited to kick off this brand-new series with one specific suggestion that I hope you’ll find quick and easy to implement.  And expect more of the same in the weeks and months to come.

Invest in training

So here is the first instalment in ways to develop employees: invest in training.  Not much of a surprise, is it?  The key word here is “invest”.  An investment creates an expectation of a positive return on that investment, and thoughtful, good-quality training rarely disappoints.  When you invest time and money into training and professional development for your people, it tells them that you value them, and it is this very aspect of the training investment that causes people to pay attention, absorb and put their learnings into action, all for the benefit of your organization.

Two common objections

Now I’ve heard many of the common objections to this strategy.  “What if I train them and they leave?” is one of the most familiar.  My response: What if you don’t train them and they stay?”  Sure, watching your investment in training walk out the door to the competition is always a risk, but it’s a risk worth taking.  Besides, most employees who feel valued in their current roles usually don’t jump ship anyway.

Another common objection – “I can’t afford the time to send them off on a training course.”  If that’s your reason, then you’re not trying hard enough to come up with creative options.  Virtual training – learning from the comfort of your office using technology tools – is available for just about any topic.  Just Google your topic with the words “distance learning” or “virtual learning” or “webinar” and see what comes up.

Remember, employees who continue to learn are continuing to grow and develop.  I’ll have more ways to develop employees coming up in future instalments, but for now, I’d love to hear more about your experiences with this one.  Does your organization invest in training its employees?  Are you getting the return on investment you hoped for?  Please share by adding your comment below.

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