At the Studer Community Institute, we feel optimistic for 2022. While the past two years have been difficult, we’ve also seen such growth in organizations across the country – and what we’re consistently noticing is that the more successful are those whose employees are showing the way.
I love the quote from Minnesota Golden Gophers coach PJ Fleck: “Bad teams, no one is leading. Medium teams, coaches in the lead. But elite teams, players lead.
It’s so true. The best and most successful organizations are made up of employees so committed to their work that they function as informal leaders. It doesn’t matter what title they appear on their business card: Employees who see themselves as “owners” and feel empowered to make informed decisions, guide their peers, and take responsibility for the customer experience create all kinds of benefits. growth opportunities.
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When you have a business full of employees at all levels (including frontline people) who are willing and able to lead, a lot of positive things happen. Reaching performance goals just got easier. Customers have better experiences. Employees are happier, more fulfilled, and more likely to feel their work has meaning. In no time, you will find that you have developed a culture that attracts and retains the best possible talent.
So how do you build a business full of leaders? Most employees naturally want to do a good job and, if asked, most would probably say they would like to be “players in the lead”. The key is to make sure they have the tools they need to do their job and do it well. This is why investing in training and development (T&D) is so incredibly powerful.
I’m not just talking about technical training. It’s very important, but it’s really just a starting point. Depending on their role, an employee can gain huge benefits from training in customer service, time management, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, communication, implicit / explicit biases, etc. This is just a small sample of the types of training available – and all of it has the potential to dramatically improve employee performance.
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We all know there are plenty of training opportunities out there, but it’s easy to fall into the mantra that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get the job done, let alone learn new skills. , or to get distracted by a seizure or other passing “shiny ball”. When that happens, T&D sort of falls by the wayside. I understand! No one makes the intentional decision not to invest in people; it kind of happens. In some cases, leaders may feel that they cannot afford to train people well. But the truth is, T&D can be very reasonably priced – and it delivers a huge return on your investment.
Here are a few reasons why T&D creates so much value for your dollar:
It improves the performance of employees and the organization. Poor performance is often the result of people not fully knowing how to do their job. When there is a shortage of employees, we quickly hire or promote employees who are good at their current job and expect people to jump right into the role. It can be a recipe for disaster.
Training corrects that. Not only does this help people perform at a higher level, but it also improves engagement and brings out their “inner leader”. When all employees are well trained, you will achieve a more consistent and lasting performance. (We all know consistency and sustainability are the cornerstones of a healthy business!)
It promotes the well-being of employees. Today’s workforce faces unprecedented levels of stress as we continue to face a global pandemic. So much has changed, and although our focus is on physical survival, most of us haven’t addressed the mental and emotional burden we’ve been through.
In addition, there is a lot of stress and anxiety associated with not being able to do your job well. So, at a time when mental health issues are rampant in the workplace, training is particularly crucial. People are most likely being asked to do more with less right now. When we make sure they’re equipped to do their best and give people the tools and confidence to speak up on sensitive issues, we do a lot to create a culture of belonging and a healthier workplace.
You will have less turnover. Employees feel valued when they receive excellent training. When you invest in people, they will invest in you in return.
You will also attract the best talent. Young people in particular really appreciate development. With training and development being an integral part of your culture, you will gain a competitive advantage, and when the rumor spreads that you are investing in people, the best talent will be attracted to your business.
It constitutes a faithful bench of future leaders. When you train and develop people, you are preparing them for the future. “Unofficial” leaders can be promoted to “official” leaders later. And because you’ve already invested in them through training, they’ll feel a sense of loyalty and want to stay with you.
We live in a world that increasingly calls for lifelong learning. With the future constantly changing, the nature of business and the skills needed to be successful are constantly changing. Training is no longer a single proposition but a continuous and continuous journey of lifelong learning. There are so many opportunities for those who embrace this richer and more exciting way of working and living. When we all commit to learning together, we create stronger, healthier businesses, leaders, employees, and communities.
Rachael Gillette is President of the Studer Community Institute.