Investing in People

Reading an article in The Scottish Review this week reminded me of some organisations’ baffling approach to learning, growth and development of their people. It may seem obvious to most readers of this post that investing in the ongoing growth and development of your people is a ‘no-brainer’. However, it is sadly not always the case, and too many firms, institutions and businesses scrimp on people and their learning, until demands are forced upon them, whereupon it may be too late.

Dr Mary Brown’s son asked his company for training over a long period of time but all requests were met with stony silence. On securing a post with another company, which did place training of its staff as a high priority, his current employer suddenly sprang into action and offered him inducements to stay. It was too late. He left.

But this is not unusual. Too many managers see training and development as a luxury ‘add-on’, rather than an essential part of every successful organisation’s strategy. A rapidly growing proportion of the younger generation entering the workforce place training, continuous learning and coaching even higher than starting salary, when it comes to what attracts them to new job opportunities.

A backward thinking manager once said to their colleague,

“But we can’t throw all that expensive training at them. What if they take it all, learn all this new stuff, and then decide to up and leave?”

The wise colleague said, “Maybe! But just think how much more worrying it would be if you don’t, and they stay?”

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