Thursday, January 2, 2014

Training Paradox: training and development in the workplace

Now that I am back in School for my MBA my schedule has gotten busier than ever.  However, it has also given me so many more ideas for articles that now all I have to do is find the time to take these ideas and put them into some sort of coherent format.
My current work experience seems to be quite contradictory to what I am learning in business school.  However, I cannot say that even though most employees feel underappreciated and complain often, it still has not stopped the company from making huge profits.  My course work has validated my conclusions that this is actually not the best way to do business.  The old ways of use up workers and spitting them out have started to go by the wayside but there has not been a complete paradigm shift when it comes to the business of sales.
I am not sure if it is because the business models still see employees as easily replaceable and have yet to shift there thinking to the more modern belief that employees are your most valuable asset.  When I see amazing companies such as Google, Cisco and Intel running leaps and bounds ahead of other companies to see the benefits of a dynamic, fun, fair culture that is full of opportunities to learn and grow.
Google is a perfect example.  It is common knowledge that Google is one of the dream employers and satisfaction of employees there is off the charts.   The interesting point here is that Google offers a minimum of 100 hours a year of personal training and development opportunities.  (Cascio 2013)
There is something that is coined the “Training Paradox.”  The basic concept here is that the more you train, develop and educate your employees, the more happier, loyal and content they will be with their place in your company.  However, this also means you are providing the exact training and education that will make your top talent even more marketable to other companies.  The reality is that companies who are afraid to give their employees the best opportunities to grow and develop are shooting themselves in the foot. 
It is not much different than when someone tries to stifle the growth and development of their spouse.  If they are fearful they may lose their partner as they become self-fulfilled and growing individual they are hurting themselves and their partner.  And of course setting a class ceiling on the potential of their relationship.  Low self-esteem and low self-concepts can create havoc in a relationship and this can be used as an excellent analogy for large companies. 
The more companies stifle employees from developing and growing out of fear they will be more marketable to other companies is no different than the insecure husband who tries to keep the once stay at home mother from pursuing her dreams by going back to college.
Giving employees a challenging environment filled with opportunity to learn, grow and develop is the best way to keep top talent.  Many studies conclude that money is not always the main reason people leave their place of employment.  If people are challenged, treated fairly and given opportunities for growth they will be far more likely to produce more, work harder and be more loyal. 

Cascio, W.F (2013) Managing Human Resources:  Productivity, Quality of Work Life, Profits (9th ED) Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill/Irwin

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