– Mihai Cercel
If you think training is expensive … I will not quote some of the famous quotes circulating on the net and attributed to Peter Drucker, which says that “if you find it too expensive to invest in the training of your employees, try to see what it happens if you do not invest”(approximate quote). Apparently, the original quote was: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!” And is attributed to Andy McIntyre and Derek Bok.
It is not very important to quote it in its original form because it appears in very different forms from one citation to another, but it delivers very well the essence of the point of view that I want to propose to you for analysis.
Think about what would happen in a factory that does not invest in developing people’s skills. Imagine someone causes a work accident due to the fact that he was not able to use a certain machine. I know, you will tell me that in that case, there is legislation that should have obliged the employer to train certain technical competences for the respective crane. Why would it be different in the case of a sales agent, a manager, a general manager, a politician, etc? Of course, they can’t (or at least not directly) cause such an accident. But if we thought that, for example, the sales agent could sell more and more efficiently, the manager could achieve superior performance in his team, etc.? Would it be worth investing in their training then?
I often talk to Romanian entrepreneurs about training. And, regularly, one of the things I hear is that they don’t want to do trainings because they don’t want to invest in people who can leave at any time! The best answer is given by Richard Branson: “Develop your people so well that they can leave, treat them with respect so well that they don’t want to leave.” It is a big mistake not to invest in people just for the reason that they might have the competition already prepared. It actually costs a lot more to keep them in the company if they do not perform at the maximum level they are able to reach. The main reason people leave a company is not the money, as you might think, but the way they are treated and the prospects you offer for their professional development.
Employees are your most important investments. They grow their business or, on the contrary, they dynamize it slowly and surely. And they do it not necessarily consciously, but precisely because they do not have the necessary skills to grow it.
Training is not a luxury worth buying only in times of economic growth. Training is an essential tool of survival, especially when times are hard!