Invest in the development of people – do not cut costs here.
While there are times when this is easier said than done, the investment you make in your team members is some of the best money you will ever invest. Peter Drucker reports that the Knowledge Worker of today wants and needs many things to thrive. And one of those things is continuing education, the ability to stretch and grow, the opportunity to learn new things or new ways, and to be on a path of development for an entire career.
Talented people will leave an organization if they are not challenged. By challenged in this connotation, I mean “stretched”. Give your team members—your colleagues—a chance to grow right in your own environment.
Instead of people thinking “I can’t wait to get out of school”, how about if people never wanted school to be out!! Why should we ever stop learning, growing, getting better? It seems that the more I learn, the more I realize how much there is to learn—and how much I want to learn. It is so exciting to either have one’s knowledge validated or to have one’s knowledge stretched. Good instructors, good books, or good courses do just that.
And, so include continuing education in your budget. Or call that line item “developmental dollars” or “investment in improvement” or “access to advancement” or “the best use of money—ever”.
Now, when you or any leader makes a decision to invest in a CE course, a consultation, a developmental training program—or whatever, then it is the responsibility of the students to listen, learn, translate the information, and then to implement the strategies or information into the organization for this improvement. Otherwise, it could be understandable that the person writing the check could get very frustrated. If money allocated to continuous education does not come back to have a positive, constructive impact on the business, then it becomes a “cost” rather than an investment. Big difference.
So, yes, it is a two way street. When an owner or “chief” decides to make an investment in continuous education, this is a major decision. And the owner or CEO of a business must always make decisions that are good for the organization, including financial decisions. So, hopefully, those decisions pay for themselves quickly and multi-fold. The way that happens if for the recipients of the “educational gift” to work diligently toward improvement and implementation. So, yes, it is a two way street.
But the flip-side is that when talented people are not given a chance to expand and thrive, they will leave. Each time a talented person leaves an organization, this costs the organization time, money, headache and heartache. A greater cost than any CE course!!!
The positive results of an investment in continuous education are so strong that there seems to be no argument against this investment. Plan. Determine areas within the organization that could benefit from improvement. Study. Look at the talent within your organization and choose educational programs that nurture that talent. Invest. Budget. Make it happen.
The rewards will be overwhelming now—and long into the future.