Fill the Tool Box

“He comes in at 9:00 and leaves at 4:00,” a client complained about his manager. “I get so frustrated that he isn’t putting in longer hours. I pay him a lot – higher than industry average. But he isn’t delivering on results.”

“Is he analyzing his department’s data?”

“Absolutely not. The guy is taking me for a ride.”

“Is he incentivizing his team to sell more?”

“Not at all. He doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

“Was he trained in your company standards?”

“We shouldn’t have to train him. He’s the manager!”

Too often organizations place employees in their positions, expecting immediate high performance. They pay for employment ads, staff a recruiter, spend hours to review resumes, and conduct interviews, drug screens, and background checks. By the time they’ve hired their candidate, the company has invested thousands of dollars. Then, like plugging an appliance into the wall, they expect their new hire to show up to their job and immediately perform with ease. Organizations lose sight that it is their responsibility to give their staff the tools they need to do their jobs. Without  training, the employee can feel frustrated, as can the employer, and too often they end up parting ways.

The cost of losing an employee is high. A recent study from the Center for American Progress found that the average cost of replacing an employee earning less than $50,000 per year is estimated at 20% of the person’s annual salary. Using that formula, the employee earning $25/hour will cost the company $10,400 when they leave. The price of losing a senior level person is even higher. According to the same study, a highly trained person costs the company 213% of their salary on their departure. So, a Director earning $75,000 will cost the company $160,000 upon their resignation.

Many separations can be avoided with generous and effective training of their employees. Southwest Airlines is a leader in this area, known to be a company that is devoted to the personal growth and development of their employees. Their training is a declaration of commitment that employees have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Go to the People tab of southwest.com website and you’ll see their list of trainings made public.  After their on-boarding orientation – which includes diversity training, sustainability, and the company’s desire to contribute fun to the world – all Southwest Airline employees have access to classes in emotional intelligence, personal and professional development, project management, and Microsoft classes. There are Leadership Summits, Manager-in-Training workshops, and Customer Service Sessions, too.  The fact that they have a People page publicizes  to the world that they value their staff and their growth. The result? Southwest Airlines boasts an astoundingly low 2% turnover. 

Training offers the opportunity to create consistency in the company culture. By explicitly stating universal expectations, employees can quickly be held accountable for performance issues. Other areas of onboarding can include education on company history, product knowledge and the outlook for the future. When companies can’t afford to create ongoing training programs for their staff,  they can enroll their company in third-party training subscriptions that offer a host of topics and locations for trainings. Organizations such as Star 12 offer a variety of workshops nationwide, and specialty, industry-specific companies can be explored as well.

When you support your employees with training opportunities, you send them a clear message: We value you. You are worth our investment. Value your employees and they’ll value working for you.

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