Part 1 of 2
By Julie Poland, Certified Business Coach
Right now in some organizations training is viewed as a luxury, one of the first things to be cut out of the budget out of a view toward cutting costs. That, however, is a shortsighted approach. Now, more than ever, is the time to be investing in developing leaders and employees.
Retention of Talent
Everyone feels a bit insecure during down markets – vendors get a little bit worried about whether order levels will stay at last year’s levels, and when things get really ugly employees at every level wonder whether they will be able to keep their jobs.
The challenge to your company is that your best and brightest employees and leaders have the best opportunities to jump out of what they fear is a threatened role and into a new one in a different company. They might be thinking about it right now, when you need their contributions to keep your ship on the right course. If you choose to develop them during times of challenge you’re not only helping to keep them interested and growing, you’re demonstrating to them that they are a valued player on the team.
Even mid-level performers and fence-sitters have a new motivation to perform at a higher level when outside opportunities may be scarce. While fear is not an effective motivator over the long term, it may provide just the level of openness needed for them to learn new skills or new habits of behavior.
Managing When One Shoe Has Already Dropped
Perhaps your company has already downsized somewhat due to current market conditions. The people who are remaining are feeling the fear mentioned above, and are also most likely feeling some survivor guilt. Both factors can interfere with productivity. Keeping training, coaching, and development functions active can help your employees stay focused and ultimately help the organization accomplish more with fewer resources.
Julie Poland, CBC, is a business and personal coach with 19 years of experience working with all levels of leaders and employees, from Mom and/or Pop firms to international corporations. Find more information at www.summithrd.com.
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