Common responses to staff development
- “Education is expensive”
- “I lose work hours while they are on courses”
- “I pay for one and they all want the same”
- “When I’ve finished training them up, they will leave”.
I’ve heard it so many times before. And sadly, in some cases, it may be true but, it does not have to be this way.
A changing world
The world is changing at an ever-increasing rate. Standing still means you are going backwards as your competitors speed past you. If you want to survive, you simply cannot afford not to get involved in staff training. And we are not just talking about your team on the workshop floor. Staff training and development must also involve the ‘head shed’ and that includes the CEO too.
Passing over the obvious benefits to your company of keeping up with the latest trends and innovations, let’s go back to business school and consider those basic motivational needs of your team.
Mr Maslow may have come up with his hierarchy of needs some time ago (1943) but it still applies in some way to you, your staff, family, friends and everyone you know or have ever met.
A Clever motivation lesson
Mr Maslow presented his theory of motivational needs with a hierarchy of 5 main needs which dictate an individual’s behaviour. These are:
- Physiological needs – food, water, air etc – Most people in this modern world have this covered.
- Safety needs – Not going to get eaten by a lion or crushed to death – again, most people in this modern world have this covered.
- Love and belonging – intimate relationships, loving, belonging – if you are a Clever Leader your staff will have this already. If not, stop reading this and work on creating a supportive working environment first.
- Esteem needs – prestige, feeling of accomplishment – This may be the success felt by a member of your staff who masters a new skill through your staff development programme.
- Self-actualization needs – reaching your full potential – Staff development; the clue is in the tile. It is another high-level motivator for your team.
Staff development fulfils the top two out of five levels of Mr Maslows’ human motivational needs. That’s a 40% impact on motivation and job satisfaction.
Can you afford to miss out on that?
If you are one of those leaders who have given the responses to staff development at the beginning of this article then it is time to rethink.
Staff development is important for your company’s future.
4 Clever steps to maximise your staff development returns
1. Where are you going?
You must align your staff development plan with your company goals. Make sure that your staff development meets your planned future needs.
- Are you going to introduce automation in the future?
- Can you train someone for your future needs or do you hire someone?
Bringing in new blood can have its benefits but bringing someone up through the ranks creates motivation and increases loyalty. It also gets you a step closer to achieving your future goals.
2. Who will you invest in?
To motivate others you need to find out what they want and where they are going. They may not be as passionate as you are about increasing business profits and may have other motivators. As with any project, you need to understand your individual team member’s needs and wants and select the right person for the task.
The right person will be motivated by the new challenge, appreciate the investment, willing to work hard and share their knowledge with others.
3. Spread the risk – share the cleverness
OK, so you may have been right. You train them up and then they leave but, this is because you have not been thinking this through. You may spend time and money training one of your team but, but it does not stop there. You must make sure the person you have selected for staff development is capable of sharing what they have learned with others in your company. Then, if they do leave, you still retain the skills and knowledge in the rest of the team.
If you have chosen the right person, there is less chance that they will leave as they should appreciate the time and money you have invested in them and should be more motivated because of it.
The rest of the team’s performance will also improve as they realise they are part of a progressive, supportive and forward-thinking company.
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