This is the second post of the “Is Your Company Geek-Compatible” series and it is about training. Offering training to employees has many benefits for both companies and employees, and it is a reality that most companies offer training to employees in one form or another.
The problem is that just like the previous post about Telecommuting, companies need to embrace the idea of giving different options to its employees, they are all different. In my opinion, various types of training have to be available for different types of employees; For example, many people prefer to learn by reading books or watching videos, other people prefer classes and some others prefer going to conferences where they have a chance to talk to their peers, network, etc…
The important thing is that a company understand that providing the right training to employees is a good investment. Not only will a company get the benefit of having skilled people on board but they will also end up with highly motivated employees. People feel good and happy when they know they are important enough for someone to invest time and money on them, in this case I am referring to companies investing in people by helping them enhance their skills and knowledge by giving them the option to choose a method of learning and providing it to them.
People are different, we all know that. Still, many companies offer training programs that are not effective or just not what employees are looking for. What are employees looking for? I don’t know, but that is why giving them options for different types of training is a good thing. Again, is all about trusting your employee’s decisions and treating them as adults. Good employees are always looking for ways to be better at their jobs, instead of blocking them, enable them to learn the things they want and you’ll end up with a bunch of happy people who will be a lot more productive.
To stay ahead of competition
Training is something every company, big and small should offer and support, for their own good. Companies that choose not to provide continuous training to its employees find it difficult to stay ahead of the competition. This is even more relevant for companies where their use of technology is an essential part of their business. We, the geeks and techies need to be up to date with new technologies, tools and products, if we are not, then you’ll end up with a company full of technology dinosaurs… do you know what happened to dinosaurs? exactly, they didn’t evolve so they died and you don’t want that for your company (I think some of them also died because of that meteorite…).
Technology changes rapidly, and people working in the technology field need constant training to be more efficient and successful with the technology tools they choose and use.
It is silly for companies to think they can hire people with all the necessary skills, and then to think that because they hire experienced people that they do not need to invest in training experienced employees… really? that point of view is short-sighted for the same reasons I mentioned above… without training and constant learning there is no evolution, and with no evolution there is not success or motivated employees to help you succeed.
To motivate key employees
Motivation is the driving force by which we accomplish what we are after. A company that does not keep its employees motivated is a company that will have a hard time achieving success, and keeping good employees. Companies that do not make a real investment in training their employees are also those companies with big retention problems, imagine that!
Companies that train employees are making a statement about how much they care about their employees, this also shows a company’s commitment to build a long and successful relationship with the employee. Training employees is nothing but an investment that benefits both the employee and the company.
Sometimes companies make the mistake of “offering” training to its employees in a very structured way, meaning they have a set curriculum for employees to go through, and that is not what motivates employees. A company should let employees choose the type of training that works best for them, not every person learns the same way, so why not allow people learn the best way they can? For some people this means learning from books, live presentations, videos, classes, etc…
Employees working in tech positions are always eager to learn, to move ahead, to keep up with technology and to succeed at their jobs and yet, many of their employers do not enable them to do this. Look around, most of the highly successful companies (big and small) offer time and assistance to their employees so they can learn more about topics that they are interested on. It doesn’t even have to be a topic related to their job… in the end, employees will perform better when they know the company they work for supports them and trust them to make good decisions, this translates into people who feel really good and happy which then turns into highly productive and loyal employees.
What has been your experience regarding this topic at your company or previous employers? If you are an employer, could you say your current training program is successful? Please share your questions and comments below. Cheers.