I saw this posted on LinkedIn a few days ago, and it made me chuckle. It’s a conversation I’ve had and heard many times in the past.
Over the years, I’ve had many a conversation with delegates in training courses who describe this a contributing factor to how motivated people are. When there is a lack of development opportunities, people become demotivated. The excuse is often that we don’t need to train and develop our people because there is nowhere for them to go!
If there are no current opportunities for career development, why bother developing our people. If we do, they will just go somewhere else where there are opportunities and take all of that learning with them.
But, what if they stay? They continue to be demotivated, and this can impact on their performacne and the performance of others around them. No-one wants a mood hoover in the office that’s for sure.
So, why bother providing training and development if there are likely to be no opportunities in the future?
Can you whole heartedly say that this is the case? Are you saying that no one will ever leave your business? Will no one ever retire? Will you never grow?
Of course, we can’t.
Sir Richard Branson once said about Virgin – ‘We should develop people to the point where they want to leave, but look after them so will that they don’t want to’.
These things go hand in hand. Looking after people includes providing training and development — not just good salaries and benefits. In fact, training and development can be seen as a benefit.
Why all the worry then? Often the view is that training costs money, and it’s the investment that we fear. But, training doesn’t have to cost anything. OK, let me rephrase that. Training doesn’t always require external spend. It does cost time.
You don’t always need to invest in external training for your team. Leaders and other team members will have a wealth of experience they can share. Coaching and buddying are classic examples of how some development can be done internally, just by sharing knowledge with each other.
Delegating tasks is also seen as a development opportunity (and it helps with time management as well).
If we don’t invest in our people (both time and money where it’s required), the result could mean a demotivated workforce which leads to poor overall performance.