Monday, January 12, 2009

Why should we invest in people development?

As I write this entry, the economy is in bad shape; the DJIA is below 8500, banks are failing, auto companies are looking for bailouts, foreclosures are climbing, layoffs are pending and retail sales slumped through the past Christmas Season.

So why would anyone tell you that NOW is the time to invest in yourself and your company with training and development?

Here are a couple of good reasons to invest in development now:

1. When the economy rebounds (and it will), will your staff be ready to handle your customer requests quickly and efficiently?

When your existing customers return, and new ones begin to call, I wouldn't expect them to demonstrate a lot of patience while your staff figures out how to handle their new orders. If you don't handle them quickly and efficiently, your customers will likely look elsewhere.

2. Think back to before the bust... Did you invest money in training and development then?

Probably not. If you are like a lot of companies you were “too busy” to invest in your people. There was “no time for training”, hence your employees never really got the chance to develop their skills. Certainly that is not the case now. In fact, now is the time when you CAN invest time in training and IMPROVE your customer's experience.

3. The problem with good employees is that they ALWAYS have options.

Your very best people are the ones who have skills that are transferrable to your competitors. And, if you don’t demonstrate that you are willing to invest in your employees, they are the ones who will be the very first to leave and the hardest to replace.

Investing in your employees is like investing in your future. When you make the investment, you can later reap the reward. And if there is no investment in your future, then you really don’t have a future.

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on this topic as well. Are you looking for ways to invest in your employees and your future? If not, what is holding you back? And how will that change in the future?

Till next time….

Dave Meyer

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