Monday, November 17, 2014

“Is Training the Employees Beyond Wining and Dining?” - Professor M.S.Rao

“Starbucks is not an advertiser; people think we are a great marketing company, but in fact we spend very little money on marketing and more money on training our people than advertising.” - Howard Schultz

When you look at global companies such as P&G, GE, IBM, PepsiCo, Dow Chemical, Verizon Communication, Southwest Airlines and Starbucks, they emphasize on training and development to develop leaders. Some of them have theme based training programs. For instance, P&G emphasizes to tackle turnover; GE on continuous adaptation; IBM to accelerate growth; Dow Chemical on crossing functions; and Verizon Communications on customer credo to name a few.

Traditionally training and development was treated as an exercise to entertain employees by taking them to a different location to wine and dine apart from conducting training activities to relieve from monotony arising from their regular work. However, the trend has changed globally with training and development gaining sanctity as there is more emphasis on human resources to develop the talent. Globally lots of money is spent on training and development. Second, training was treated as an expense in the past. However, there is a drastic change in the mindset of the organizations to treat it as an investment to develop the talent. Third, training was neglected during the recession. But the organizations started to realize that there must be more emphasis on training during the recession as it provides an opportunity for companies to take feedback and focus on core areas. Usually, when the companies are in good times they tend to focus on competition and deadlines. And they don’t find time to focus on training. However, recession offers an opportunity for companies to find out weak and neglected areas to concentrate and grow.

There are innumerable advantages in training and developing the employees. It enhances learning agility among the employees. It improves their productivity and performance. It equips them with the latest tools and techniques and improves their knowledge, skills and attitudes. It encourages learning, unlearning and relearning to stay ahead of times. It creates conducive organizational climate and promotes organizational culture. It motivates employees to improve and advance their career. It checks attrition and enhances their morale. It enhances customer satisfaction. It ensures all-round satisfaction of all stakeholders.

One behavioral improvement in employees can make a huge difference to improve the organizational bottom lines. Therefore, training and development is treated as an asset to improve the mindset, skill set and tool set of employees.   

Investing in training is a pro-active strategy while retrenching employees during recession is a reactive strategy. To conclude, treat training as an investment, not an expense; and train and groom employees throughout the year to build talent to achieve organizational excellence and effectiveness.

“You are your greatest asset. Put your time, effort and money into training, grooming, and encouraging your greatest asset.” - Tom Hopkins

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Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
21 Success Sutras for Leaders: Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year (San Diego University) Amazon URL: http://www.amazon.com/21-Success-Sutras-Leaders-ebook/dp/B00AK98ELI

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